Seated Half Spinal Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana

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How This Helps

Twists and wrings out your internal organs to help remove toxins and encourage fresh blood to increase the health of your intestines.


Sage Matsyendra was the founder of Hatha yoga and he was fond of full spinal twist position and therefore this yoga posture is given his name. The half spinal twist evolved later since the full spinal twist is somewhat difficult. Ardha Matsyendrasana ‐  Ardh means half and Matseyendra means king of the fish.


Step by Step Instructions for Ardha Matsyendrasana

Step 1: Start in a comfortable seated position sitting up with a tall spine and press your sit bones into the mat. 

Step 2: Place your right foot flat next to your left thigh and place your arm to the inside of your right knee.  

Step 3: Inhale and lengthen your spine.  On your exhale gently twist and gaze over your back shoulder.  

Step 4: Keep your feet placed where they are and come back through center.  

Step 5: Inhale again and lengthen your spine.  On your exhale, gently twist the other way.  

Switch legs and repeat pose, twisting to both sides and connecting your breath to your movement.


Refrain from this pose if you have had any heart, abdominal or brain surgeries or have severe spinal injuries.

Science and Research

Seated half spinal twist massages the abdominal area and helps promote digestion. In addition,this pose also helps to deter your liver, gall bladder, and small intestine, rekindling the digestive fire.  Research studies suggest that the pose is also beneficial to alleviate constipation and could cure nervous disorders.

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