Ardha-Matsyendrasana, the half spinal twist, is ninth in the sequence of 12 basic postures of hatha yoga. There are many benefits to this posture, but the most important is that the entire length of the spine receives a lateral twist in both directions – first to the left and then to the right.
Half Spinal Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana
Half Spinal Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana Definition: A lateral stretch for your entire spine
Spinal TwistAfter bending forward and back, your spine requires a lateral twist to retain its mobility. This ability to twist is often the first type of flexibility to be lost. During the Spiral Twists your vertebrae are mobilized; the exercises also allow more nourishment to reach the roots of the spinal nerves and the sympathetic nevous system.
Objective: To maintain sideways mobility in your spine
STEP 1 – LEGS BENT IN ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA
Sit up on your heels. Drop your buttocks to the floor, to the left of your legs.
STEP 2 – LEG POSITION IN ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA
Bend your right leg. Cross your right foot over your left leg, and place it on the floor by the outside of your left knee. Keeping your arm straight, put your right hand flat on the floor behind your back. Arms: Lay your right hand on the floor. Raise your left arm straight up.
STEP 3 – THE TWIST IN ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA
Lower your left arm, bringing it outside your bent knee, then grasp your right ankle. Hold for at least 30 seconds. Repeat, twisting the other way.
Benefits of Half Spinal Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Tones and strengthens abs and obliques
- Stretches and energizes the spine
- Open the shoulders, neck, and hips
- Increases flexibility, especially in hips and spine
- Cleanses the internal organs
- Improves digestion and elimination of wastes
- Relieves symptoms of backache, fatigue, menstrual discomfort and sciatica
- Stimulates liver, heart, lungs, kidneys and spleen
- Releases excess heat and toxins from organs and tissues
The researchers found that yoga outperformed aerobic and other forms of exercise at improving balance, flexibility, strength, pain levels among seniors, menopausal symptoms, daily energy level, and social and occupation functioning, among other health parameters.
Learn about all the Yoga Asanas (Poses) from basic poses, advanced poses, seated and standing poses, twists and bandha with Contraindications and Benefits.
If you are serious about your health and do not want to pay heavy medical bills to doctors then do practice these Yoga asanas (postures) and stay healthy.