Enjoy a wonderful spinal stretch and more with Half Lord-of-the-Fishes Pose…
Half Lord-of-the-Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana) – often called Seated Spinal Twist – is a beginner-to-intermediate pose that provides a great spinal twist to aid with posture, flexibility, and digestion. Twisting poses are also thought to help with detoxification, and they are good to do when you are feeling stiff and stagnant.
Lengthen, open, and realign your spine, release stuck energy, and stimulate the nervous, digestive, and reproductive systems with this lovely twist. This is also a good one to increase hip flexibility and relieve hip and back stiffness caused by spending a lot of time sitting.
To modify this pose, you can place your back hand on a block, or hug the knee rather than hooking your elbow over it (Version A). You can also make this a more challenging bound pose by threading your arm through your bent knee and holding onto your other hand behind your back as shown in this picture:
Those with recent or chronic back or hip pain or shoulder injury should use caution or avoid this pose altogether.
How to Do It:
1. From Bound Angle or Easy pose, extend the right leg straight out in front of you, cross the left leg over the right, placing the left foot flat on the floor close to the right knee. Then bend the right leg to bring the right heel next to the left hip.
2. Wrap the right hand around the left knee and pull the knee in towards your chest. Press down through the hips and up through the crown to lengthen the spine.
3. Inhale the left hand up and as you exhale reach the arm around your back placing the palm on the floor fingers facing back. Press the arm into the back to keep the back straight. Look over the left shoulder towards the back wall.
4. As you inhale press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine.
5. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.
5. To release: inhale the left hand up and exhale untwisting the body, facing the front. Repeat on the other side.
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