ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA (SEATED SPINAL TWIST)
Ardha = Half; Matsya = Fish; Matsyendra = Name of a yogi; Asana
From a comfortable cross legged seated position, the legs are straightened out in front. For the right side: the right knee is bent and the heel of the foot is brought close to the hip. The heel of the foot is lifted and crossed over the extended leg. Sole of the foot is planted firmly into the ground. The left leg is then bent and drawn towards the torso. The top of the foot rests on the mat. The heel of the left foot rests against the right thigh. While turning the spine to the right, the left arm straightens and is brought around to the outside of the right knee. The left hand rests on the right knee. The right arm is straightened and placed on the mat behind the torso. The head is turned as far back as possible. Head, neck and spine remain aligned. On an inhale the torso is lengthened and on an exhale the twist is deepened. Right hand can then be brought around the body to clasp the left.
Benefits of the posture:
- good for digestion and elimination
- opens the rib cage for fuller breathing
- opens the spine, hydrating the discs for better nutrition and flexibility
- reneutralizes the spine