Done with some reflection, this pose helps yogis discover blocks in their bodies and in their lives. You will be able to look at your present and future without the fog of the past clouding your vision. you will experience clearer vision and perception. (Beyond Asanas, p 33)
In Beyond Asanas I wrote about the Ardha Matsyendrasana in Chapter 6. Ardha Matsyendrasana literally means Half Lord of the Fish Pose. Read more about Matsyendranath in the book and find out about the man who learned yoga from Lord Shiva himself.
Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Stimulates your digestive system.
- Stretches the shoulders, chest, arms and spine.
- Reduces lower back ache.
- Trims the excess fat from the sides.
- Helps us realize that everything that has been ‘twisted’ can be untwisted.
Most students focus on the twisting aspect of this posture, but I would encourage you to focus more on the chest expansion. If you feel that your breathing is labored when you’re in this asana, it means you need to work a little more on opening up the thoracic spine. If you continue to practice the Ardha Matsyendrasana in this manner, you’re adding stress to an already tight spine. Find out which variation works best for you in the below video:
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