Ardha Matsyendrasana – The Ultimate Twist in Ashtanga Vinyasa

Ardha Matsyendrasana, is a very crucial pose of the ashtanga Intermediate series.

Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Lord of the Fish Pose – is an ashtanga intermediate series (second series) twist. It is great for the spine, and suitable for most levels. Ardha Matsyendrasan comes after the intense backbends of the second series, such as kapotasana. I always vote for some twisting after deep backbends. This twist is wonderful as you are seated, and the bending of the legs allows for deeper twisting and lengthening in the spine. If needed sit on a blanket so there is more room for the spine to lengthen.

Ardha Matsyendrasa may be useful for the release of back pains, digestion problems, open the shoulders, release tension, and even for learning how to breathe deeper in restricted situations – great for asthmatics.

Make sure to practice with a tall spine. You can use your inhales for lengthening the spine, and your exhales to deepen the twist.  Straighten your bottom leg if it is hard on the knee, and keep a soft face. Remember to enjoy the practice!

Ardha Matsyendrasa can be practiced anytime, and is very useful in all vinyasa yoga classes, as well as power yoga, or any time you want to release the spine after deep backbends or even forward folds.

For some the marichiasana C twist from ashtanga primary series is a good preparation for the ardha matsyendrasana of the Intermediate series. Master the marichiasana C first.

For those looking to have a practice book to follow along, try this great ashtanga yoga practice book. It will give you a sequence as well as modifications.

Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series - Ardha Matsyendrasana - Deep Twist

Do you prefer this twist over marichiasana C? Do you practice both? Do you practice this as part of ashtanga or another yoga style? Leave your comments below. We love hearing from you!

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