Asana of the Month: Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha Matsyendrasana - Half Lord of the Fish Pose

Sanskrit: Ardha - half, Matsyendra - king of fish, asana - pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana is an important pose that is often practiced after a series of forward and backward bends. This pose is named after the fish that was so happy to hear a conversation between Shiva and Parvati and learned the secrets of yoga. You can read more about this story at the end of this article. Now let us have a look at the pose.


  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: start with 20 seconds and slowly increase u to 1-2 minutes per side
  • Repetition: Once per side (change of hands and legs)
  • Stretches: hips, shoulders, neck
  • Strengthens: spine, digestive tract, reproductive system, urinary system
  • Chakra: Ajna Chakra (third eye)

Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana

♥ Simultaneously stretches the muscles on one side of the abdomen and back, while contracting them the other side

♥ Strengthens the nerves in the spine

♥ Makes the back muscles smooth

♥ Solves lumbago

♥ Massages the internal organs

♥ Helps with digestive problems

♥ Regulates the secretion of adrenal glands, liver, and pancreas

♥ Strengthens the kidneys


Contraindications of Ardha Matsyendrasana


♦ stomach ulcers

♦ a hernia

♦ hyperthyroidism

♦ slipped disc

♦ sciatic pain


Instructions for Ardha Matsyendrasana

  1. Sit with your legs stretched out. The spine is straight and your feet are placed side by side.
    ardhamadsjendhrasana3 - Asana of the Month: Ardha Matsyendrasana
    An advanced variation of Ardha Matsyendrasana
  2. Now bend the left leg and bring your left ankle next to your right hip.
  3. Now bring right leg over your left knee and place your right foot next to your left thigh.
  4. Inhale and put your arms over your head in Anjali Mudra (Prayer Mudra).
  5. Exhale and turn your upper body to the right side and bring your hands to your chest in Anjali Mudra. Your spine stays straight and erect all the time. Your left elbow and right knee can touch and serve as a stretching aid.
  6. Breathe deeply and slowly. As you inhale, you extend the spine upwards. As you exhale, you can intensify the stretch a bit more. Hold this pose at the beginning for about 20 seconds and slowly increase up to 2 minutes. (You can see the advanced version on the right side of the photo.)
  7. The spine is very sensitive. You should feel comfortable. Do not strain!
  8. To get out of the pose, breathe in and lift your hands over your head in the Anjali Mudra and simultaneously point your upper body forward again. Exhale and bring your hands back to your chest. Straighten your legs.
  9. Repeat the pose on the left side.


The science behind Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha Matsyendrasana relaxes and frees the spine from any discomfort after a series of forward and backbends. This pose holds a range of benefits for you. So do not be fooled by the simplicity. It's easy to get a pose, but the real miracle lies in the stretch. Ardha Matsyendrasana is a true fountain of eternal youth for the intervertebral discs, digestive system, and back muscles.


Holy Fish

As mentioned at the beginning, this pose is dedicated to the fish, which was inaugurated into the science of Yoga. After 10,000 years of meditation on Mount Kailash, Shiva discovered the 'key to the universe', he discovered Yoga. Shiva david clode 628521 unsplash - Asana of the Month: Ardha Matsyendrasanacame from the mountain and sat with his companion Parvati on a river (some variations also speak of a boat on the sea). He told her about the methods of Yoga, which he had just discovered. It was a long lecture and Parvati fell asleep after a while. Then Shiva noticed a fish in the water listening to his words.

(In some variations of the story, it is said that Matsyendranath was actually a baby who was swallowed by the fish and lived in his stomach for 12 years before he met Shiva and then practiced Yoga in the fish's stomach for another 12 years and was then reborn as an enlightened Yoga master). The fish called Matsya asked Shiva to explain the methods again from the beginning. So Shiva passed on his knowledge to the fish Matsya. Among other things, he also described 84 yoga asanas. Shiva then blessed the fish with the name Matsyendranath (Sanskrit: Matsya - fish, Indra - Lord) and gave him the task to pass on Hatha Yoga to others. Hindu, as well as Buddhist texts, tell of a yogi and saint named Matsyendranath, who lived in the 10th century and was called the father of Hatha Yoga.

Note: Yoga beginners should first learn all yoga practices from a competent teacher and then practice alone.

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