Pose of the Month – Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

How to get there…

1. From a seated position with your legs out straight out in front of you, spread the flesh from your buttocks allowing the sit bones to ground down firmly. Draws the right foot in towards the groin allowing the knee to come out to the right side. Ensure the right thigh is parallel to the long edge of your mat.

2. Draw the left knee in towards your chest and place the left foot over the top of your right thigh and down onto the floor. Ensure both sit bones remain planted at this point.

3. Place the left hand behind you for light support and reach your right hand over to the left between your chest and your left thigh.

4. Bend the elbow of the right arm so the fingers point to the ceiling and use your left elbow as a gentle lever to aid in the twist. If you are not able to reach through and use your elbow as a lever then you can hug the left knee into the chest with your right arm as demonstrated by Jen in this photo. 

5. Press the inner left foot actively into the floor, release the left groin and lengthen the front torso. Lift the spine tall on the inhale and pull the tummy in as you twist to the left on the exhale taking your gaze with you over the left shoulder. Find your Sama Vritti (even inhale and exhale) for five breaths lifting with each inhale and twisting a little further which each exhale. Be sure to try and twist evenly through the whole of the spine rather than concentrating purely on the lower torso.

6. Release the twist, take a gentle counter twist to the right and then repeat for the other side.

Seasonal Benefits…

We love the creative name of this posture and think it is a great one to practice during the summer season. This posture squeezes into the small intestine, which along with the heart is the other organ we focus on supporting during July and August. Squeezing into the small intestine helps encourage digestive processes and the uptake of nutrients. Energetically, it is said to separate the pure from impure thoughts to bring clarity of mind and lead us into making better decisions…. remember to listen to your gut!

Other Benefits…

  • Stretches the shoulders, hips and neck
  • Stimulates the Liver and Kidneys
  • Energizes the spine
  • Stimulates the digestive fire in the belly
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica and backache
  • Therapeutic for asthma and infertility
  • Traditional texts say that Ardha Matsyendrasana increases appetite, destroys most deadly diseases and awakens the dormant kundalinienergy held within all of us


  • Back or Spine Injury – Perform under supervision of an experienced yoga teacher

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