Ardha Matsyendrasana
sahasara min - YogPlan

Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

anahata chakra

Heart Chakra (Anahata)

Manipura min - YogPlan

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)

Muladhara Chakra

Root Chakra (Muladhara)


Seated Asanas

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half Spinal Twist Pose


Meaning: ardha = half / matsyendra = yogi named Matsyendra

Table of content

Spinal Movements:


Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) - spine straight and upright, hands at your sides, extend legs forward, feet together. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Bend the right knee and bring the bottom of your right foot (sole) to the left buttock, knee on the floor. Bend the left leg from the knee, lift and place the left foot outside the right knee. Twist your torso to the left, and place the heel of your left hand behind the back. Inhaling, raise your right arm up. Exhaling, lower your right elbow past the outside of your left knee, and wrap the right arm around it to hold the inside of the left foot. Inhaling, keep your spine straight, roll the left shoulder backward, and for advanced version wrap your left arm around the middle back. Exhaling, twist the torso farther to the left. Look in the distance over the left shoulder. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, twist farther. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Inhale. Exhaling, release the left hand and place behind the back for support, release the right arm and bring back to your right side, untwist the torso back to starting position, and straighten the legs in front of you. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Repeat on the other side.


  • The buttock of the top leg can rest on the floor or on the heel of the bottom leg.
  • If it is difficult to grab the foot, first improve Vakrasana, then try again.
  • Press the front of the right foot down for balance.
  • Focus on twisting the abdomen with the spine, trying to get the abdomen outside of the thigh. Suck the abdomen in to create more space to twist more.
  • To reach the right foot with the left hand, bring the shoulder closer to the raised knee by twisting and hunching a little first, then grab the foot and straighten the spine again. You can also first raise the front of the foot up for better reach, grab, then lower back down.
  • Try to distribute the tension you feel in this position over as many areas as equally as possible.
  • Do not look down when turning your neck to avoid straining it. Look straight backward, behind and in the distance.
  • Do not put excess weight on the fingertips behind the back. Use hand for balancing and twisting, not to support full body weight.
  • Keep the spine from tailbone to neck as straight as possible without hunching.
  • To twist farther, do so while exhaling.

Mental & Emotional Health:



If you have stomach ulcers or enlarged liver; or recent heart, abdominal, or brain surgeries.

Be careful

If you have neck, back, spine, or knee issues; herniated (slipped) discs, high blood pressure, diarrhea, or constipation.



  • Opens the chest.
  • stretches neck, shoulders, spine, and hips.
  • improves spinal flexibility.
  • Increases oxygen to the lungs and stimulates digestive system.
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatic nerve pain, and backache.


Helps with asthma (Traditionally, it was believed to increase appetite, remove/prevent deadly diseases, and awaken kundalini).


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