Ardha Matseyendra Asana – The Posture of the Semi Spinal Twist

Ardha Matsyendrasana

This posture has been named after Yogi Matseyendra Natha who was the teacher of Gorakh Nath. He used to sit in this posture for most of the time. The teaching of this posture was given for the first time by Masteyendra Natha to the pupil of Hatha Yoga.

The Posture of the Spinal Twist (Matseyendra Asana) is a very difficult posture. Therefore, this posture has been simplified, which is very beneficial from medical point of view. This posture is also famous as Ardha-Matendrasana.

How to do Ardha Matseyendrasana

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your left leg at the knee and place the heel between the two genitals.
  2. Bend the right leg at the knee and place the foot near the bent knee of the left leg. The entire sole should be touching the ground.
  3. Move your left shoulder across the right leg and hold the toes of your right foot.
  4. Move your right hand behind your waist and touch the place from where your left leg originates. Keep your back straight and rotate it to the right side.
  5. After remaining in this Position for one minute (initially 10 to 15 second), come out of this posture in by bringing back, various limbs in the following order: neck, left hand, right foot, right hand. Repeat this posture with the legs changed.
  6. It is sufficient to practice this posture for one minute each side. For additional benefits, this posture can be practiced for 3 minutes each side.

Ardha Matseyendrasana Benefits

This posture is very beneficial to keep the spinal column strong and flexible. Practice of this posture, agitates the stomach and its activities and they become active. As a result, digestion improves, constipation is removed, appetite is increased and stomach ailments are inhibited. This posture cures back-ache, joint-pain, sciatica and makes the muscles strong.

In this posture, spinal column and muscles are bent to the right and the left. The following six activities can be performed with the spinal column: to bend it in front and back; to bend it to left and right and to twist it to left and right. The health of the spinal column depends on the muscles situated there. With the practice of this posture, the muscles, vertebrae, bones and nerves become completely healthy and flexible when these are moved in different ways. The thirty one pairs of tubes situated in the back which originate from the spinal column, become active when additional blood gets supplied to them.

Also Read: Yoga Asanas & Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

This posture agitates the pancreas. As a result it starts producing insulin in balanced quantities, thereby controlling sugar in the body. Practice this posture by diabetic patients helps in management of diabetes and dependence on external insulin is reduced.

This posture removes thousand of ailments. The Kundalini Power (situated in the Serpentine Energy Centre, described later in this book) , which takes the yogis to the highest levels, gets awakened through practice of this posture.

Precautions of Ardha Matseyendra Asana

  1. This is a rather difficult Posture. One has to bend parts of the body in different ways. Therefore, one must put pressure on body parts to the extent one can tolerate.
  2. The heel of the foot should be between the anus and the scrotum. It is not proper to put the heel below the hips.


  1. One should breathe out while bending the waist.
  2. In the last position, breathe in deeply and hold your breath. While coming back to the normal position, breathe out.


This is a posture aimed at attaining expertise in Yoga. In this posture, one must meditate on the Agya Chakra or the Navel Centre (The Great Junction of Nerves).

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