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Asana Analysis

Published on April 30th, 2014 | by Catherine Tingey

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HALF LORD OF THE FISHES POSE (Ardha Matsyendrasana I)

Yoga - Catherine TingeyHALF LORD OF THE FISHES POSE

This is a great spring detox twist!

Sometimes I find that the places in my body most neglected through conventional types of activity (running, walking, yoga) are the waist and low-back – exactly where twists target.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance though of having a SOFT MIND while twisting. Twists wring our bodies from the inside out. The spine actually shortens slightly while twisting, so while we sit tall on the sit bones, we allow the spine enough softness to shorten in the twist. Keeping the mind soft allows the inner work of RELEASING to occur.

This pose should also be done only once the body is warm.

ALIGNMENT

Sit in STAFF POSE (Dandasana).

Cross the right leg over the left leg, placing the right foot on the outside of the left knee.

Bend the left leg and rest the left foot near the right buttock.

Place the left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Allow the fingers and knee point to point skywards.

Place the right palm behind the body.

Square the hips but not rigidly so (especially if you have disc problems or sciatica).

You are now ready for some more subtle breathwork. Take a couple deep inhales and exhales here as you gently twist from the WAIST.

If comfortable, look out over the right shoulder but only if it doesn’t strain the neck.

WORK IN THE POSE

In most postures, but especially twists, ease into the pose. You don’t want to find its fullest expression immediately.

Instead, try gently lifting on the inhale, and twisting on the exhale. As the breath empties the body, there will be more room within to twist.

Try lifting the ribs on the inhale, and spreading the collar bones on the exhale.

Steady attention to your breath and body in this pose will ensure it will not aggravate any pre-existing lower back issues.

BENEFITS

  • Stretches and energizes the spine
  • Stimulates the digestive fire in the belly, improving elimination and digestion
  • Open the shoulders, neck, and hips
  • Cleanses the internal organs
  • Tones and strengthens abs and obliques
  • Traditional texts say that Ardha Matsyendrasana increases appetite, destroys most deadly diseases, and awakens kundalini
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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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