Pose of the Week: Ardha Matsyendrasana, A.K.A. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Happy Sunday and Happy Mother's Day! We hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the new week ahead!
This week's pose is Ardha Matsyendrasana, or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. It's an awesome spinal twist that wrings out every inch of the torso and simultaneously gives a sweet stretch to the hips. Basically, it's gold.
Here's your step-by-step tutorial so that you can practice at home and/or have a deeper understanding of the pose when your yoga teacher cues it in class at the studio.
Let's get started on the right side:
Step 1: Sitting down with the legs out straight, place the sole of your right foot on the ground on the outside of your left knee
Step 2: Bend the left knee so the foot is next to your opposite hip or sit bone. ***Option to keep left leg straight as a modification
Step 3: Twist your torso toward the right and place your left arm on the outside of your bent knee. If possible, try to get the leg all the way up into the armpit, with no space between the torso and the thigh. Straighten the left arm and reach your hand toward the sole of the right foot, grab the foot if possible. ***Option to hug the knee while you twist as a modification
Step 4: Swing your right arm around your back, reaching for your left hip or maybe even inner thigh. ***Option to place right hand/fingertips on the floor directly behind you as modification
Photo of Adrha Matsyendrasana with all mentioned modifications applied.
Step 5: Lift and expand the chest as you look over your right shoulder. Do your best to stay spacious in the spine. Take as least five breaths here, expanding the lungs as you inhale and rotating the ribs a little more with every exhale.
Step 6: Repeat on left side.
+ As always, gently engage the pelvic floor and lift the lower belly in and up. This note really applies to every pose, all the time (unless pregnant)!***
Twists are a great way to wring out the internal organs and realign the spine. It's perfect for beginning and ending your yoga practice for this reason. Ardha Matsyendrasana will take you deep into the body and revive your digestive system. Practice it every day!
Questions, comments, concerns are always welcome. I am here to help <3
For love, with love.
All photos by Sean Shelton @capturedconnections