Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)

Starting Position

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.


  1. Bend your right leg and place the right foot flat on the floor outside of your left knee, ensuring that the toes of the right foot face forward.
  2. Bend your left leg, bringing your left foot around to the right buttock. The outer edge of your left foot should make contact with the floor.
  3. Slide your left arm through the space between your chest and the right knee, placing it against the outside of your right leg.
  4. Hold onto your right foot or ankle with your left hand, positioning your right knee close to your left armpit.
  5. Sit as upright as you can.
  6. Raise your right arm in front of your body and focus your gaze on your fingertips.
  7. Gradually twist to the right, coordinating the movement of your arm, trunk, and head.
  8. Use your left arm as a lever against your right leg to facilitate the twist, without engaging your back muscles.
  9. Keep your eyes on your right-hand fingertips and look over your right shoulder.
  10. Be sure not to strain your back during the twist.


  • Alternatively, you can place your right hand on the floor behind you, with fingers pointing upward, to support your spine’s straightness.

Exiting the Pose

  • Reverse the movements to come out of the pose, and then repeat the sequence on the opposite side.


  • Inhale as you initiate the forward movement.
  • Exhale while executing the trunk twist.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly without exerting strain during the twist.
  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.


  • Practice the pose once on each side, gradually increasing the time to 1 or 2 minutes per side or approximately 30 breaths.


  •  Focus your physical awareness on maintaining a straight spine and on the gentle movement of your abdomen in sync with your breath.
  • Cultivate spiritual awareness on the ajna chakra, situated between the eyebrows.


  •  Integrate this asana into your routine after performing a sequence of forward and backward bending asanas.


  • Avoid this pose during pregnancy.
  • Individuals with peptic ulcers, hernias, or hyperthyroidism should attempt this pose only under the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor.
  • Those experiencing sciatica or slipped discs should avoid practicing this asana.


  • Andha Matsyendrasana simultaneously stretches muscles on one side of the back and abdomen while contracting muscles on the other side.
  • It nurtures spinal nerves, enhances flexibility in back muscles, and alleviates lumbago and muscle spasms.
  • The pose diminishes the likelihood of adjacent vertebrae developing inflammation and calcium deposits.
  • The asana massages abdominal organs, aiding digestion, and regulating secretions from the adrenal gland, liver, and pancreas.
  • Additionally, it benefits the kidneys.

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