Ardha Matsyendrasana Benefits and Steps to do Half Fish Pose

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When it is time to spend some quality time with your special someone, it is very important to bring your best version to the forefront. Sometimes, that may not be possible because of all the stress that is built up in your body or if you are simply exhausted for some reason at a time when you should be anything but. But, there is a way in which you can avoid that scenario from actually turning into a reality, and that is by including the yoga pose that is at the centre of this article to your regime. This pose allows you to maintain a healthy love life and so much more. 

So, let us now take a look at the Ardha Matsyendrasana, shall we?

What is Ardha Matsyendrasana a.k.a The Half Fish Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana also known as the Half Fish pose is one of the more intricate poses found in Hatha yoga’s roster of positions. The position, the name of which translates to “Half Lord Of The Fishes” pose, is considered to be both relaxing as well as a rejuvenating pose. The Ardha Matsyendrasana essentially requires the body to twist itself, which primarily strengthens, relaxes as well as corrects the posture of the upper body. However, it must be noted that the benefits of the Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose are not limited to just that.

What Are The Benefits Of Ardha Matsyendrasana a.k.a The Half Fish Pose

Some of the several benefits of the Ardha Matsyendrasana are as follows:

Ardha Matsyendrasana Also Helps You With Your Love Life: This position can help you lead a healthier love life and have a deeper intimate connection with your partner in two ways. First, as mentioned above, the Ardha Matsyendrasa helps you activate the Sacral Chakra, which directly benefits your reproductive organs, and second, it also improves the blood flow to your genital organs. Therefore, it can be safely said that the benefits of doing the Ardha Matsyendrasana for your reproductive organs are two-fold.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Can Make You More Confident: By regularly doing the Ardha Matsyendrasana, you will eventually develop what is known as the Aishwarya Bhav, which is a combination of self-confidence and willpower. This pose achieves this objective by activating the Root Chakra, which is the primary energy centre that is located under an individual’s spine.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Helps You Regulate Your Blood Pressure: In addition to the Root Chakra, the Ardha Matsyendrasana also activates the Sacral Chakra, which is found right below the Naval. Once activated, your kidneys will start functioning better, which has several benefits such as a more efficient disposal of body waste and most importantly, your blood pressure.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Helps You Prevent Going About Life With A Bad Posture: This intricate yoga position puts your back and spine in quite a spot, as you will come to learn after going through the step-by-step guide for executing the pose below. Doing so regularly will help you alleviate any tendencies of sitting with a hunched back or rounded shoulders, thereby eliminating the possibility of having bad posture-related problems in the future.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Helps You Regulate Your Stress Levels: This position also helps your brain release chemicals such as Dopamine and Serotonin, which are responsible for happiness and rational thinking respectively. Simultaneously, it also helps with the reduction of the secretion levels of Cortisol, a chemical that activates the body’s stress response. Long story short, the pose will ultimately help you live a happier life and think more rationally while managing any stress that you will be subjected to in the future.

How To Do Ardha Matsyendrasana a.k.a The Half Fish Pose

If you are unable to do Ardha Matsyendrasana also known as the Half Fish pose, you must do a preparatory pose for it before transitioning into the main position. The steps to do the same are as follows:

Ardha Matsyendrasana Preparatory Pose Step 1: Sit comfortably along the length of your mat. Ensure your upper body is comfortably erect during this phase while sitting tall.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Preparatory Pose Step 2: Fold your right leg and then wrap your left arm around it. Make sure that you lock your leg in a comfortable squeeze.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step Preparatory Pose 3: Rotate your upper body in a clockwise direction up until you can comfortably look behind you. At the end of the manoeuvre, make sure that you extend your right arm and get it into a straight position.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Preparatory Pose Step 4: Come back to the original position to complete the preparatory pose. Start with gently bringing your upper body back into its original position, followed by the unsqueezing of your leg by your arm, and then finally, extending your right leg.

Now that you have done the aforementioned pose, you can start with the process of doing the Ardha Matsyendrasana. If you are an intermediate or advanced-level Yogi, you can skip the preparatory pose and get into the main position right away. A step-by-step guide for the same is as follows.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 1: Sit down comfortably along the length of your mat and then cross your right leg over to the outer edge of your left leg. Make sure that you firmly plant your feet at the end of this step.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 2: Place your left heel under the right side of your buttocks and simultaneously plant your right hand behind you firmly on the ground.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 3: Raise your left arm in the air and then slowly bring it down to the right side of the knee of your folded right leg.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 4: Gently press the aforementioned arm against your knee and then hold on to the toe of your right leg.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 5: Wrap your right arm behind your back in a manner that allows for the palm to face outwards. Post-completion, you must have achieved the final position.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 6: Attempt to breathe normally with the help of your intercoastal system for a total of 30 seconds, as per our recommendation. You may also choose to stay in this pose for as long as you are comfortable and then release.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Step 7: Retreat to the original position by unfolding one limb after another, starting with your arms, your torso, and then finally, your legs.

At this point, you have come to the halfway point of doing the Ardha Matsyendrasana. To complete one repetition of this pose, repeat steps 1-7 but this time around, bring the opposite set of limbs into use.

Ardha Matsyendrasana Contraindications

There are certain circumstances under which you should either avoid performing Ardha Matsyendrasana also known as the Half Fish pose or at least do the same with the consent of a doctor and under the supervision of a trained Yoga instructor. They are as follows:

  • Avoid this pose if you lack breath control
  • Strictly stay away from this position if you have a spinal injury
  • Pregnant women must also stay clear of the Ardha Matsyendrasana
  • People who have injured their knees or ligaments found in the lower body must also stay away from Ardha Matsyendrasana, and
  • If you have Hernia, definitely consider avoiding this pose.

However, it is not the end of the road if you find yourself in one of many of the situations listed above. You can always consult your doctor as well as a Yoga instructor afterwards before taking a call. If you have been given a greenlight by your respective doctor, make sure that you practise this position only under the watchful eye of and with the consent of a certified Yoga instructor.

Anatomy of Ardha Matsyendrasana a.k.a The Half Fish Pose

An anatomical exploration of the Ardha Matsyendrasana also known as the Half Fish pose is as follows:

When in the starting pose, you will find yourself in a rather relaxing state. You will begin to work your muscles as soon as you begin folding your legs. When you fold your right leg, you will begin contracting your hamstrings while simultaneously extending your tibialis and quadriceps. Your inner thighs, or adductor muscles, will also begin to feel a mild degree of stretching.

Upon bending your left foot to be able to place its foot under the rear end of your right side,you can expect the same kind of pressure that is being felt by your right one. In addition to the same, you will also begin to open your hip flexors.

When you attempt to get into the final position, you begin to put your torso to work from the top down. It starts with your left arm, in which the triceps will first begin to feel a contracting sensation as you press it against your bent right leg, followed by the muscles in your right arm which you will wrap around your lower back. Here, you will begin to stretch the muscles located in the posterior side of the arm such as your biceps and anterior radialis, while the anterior side will feel contracting sensations throughout.

Lastly, after performing the aforementioned positions, you will find your upper body in a twisted position, which means that your back, spine and anterior side of your torso will be put into use. Expect the backside to feel a stretching motion throughout whereas the same feeling will only extend to the upper part of your anterior side. Lower abdomen will feel a contracting sensation.

Stay in this position for the amount of time recommended by your Yoga instructor, which will vary from case to case.

When To Practise Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha Matsyendrasana also known as the Half Fish pose can either be done in the morning or evening, depending on your convenience. However, we would recommend that this pose should be done as a part of a Yoga routine, especially towards the absolute end of it, since it is a demanding pose that requires a great degree of flexibility, strength, and breadth contro and not to mention that the body would be warmed up and ready for itl.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ardha Matsyendrasana

Why Is It Called Ardha Matsyendrasana?

Ardha Matsyendrasana is a strengthening as well as a restorative yoga posture whose name is of Sanskrit origin. The name can be broken into four parts, which are as follows:

Ardha: Half    Matsya: Fish   Indra: king   Asana: Pose

Due to the literal translation of the name into English, it is also known as the Half Lord Of The Fishes pose.

What are the techniques of Ardha Matsyendrasana?

Some of the most well-known variations of the Ardha Matsyendrasana are as follows:

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose With Planted Hands: In this variation, none of the students’ hands are either wrapped around or touching the feet. While one hand simply applies pressure across the upright bent knee, the other stays planted on the mat. This position is done by students who struggle with maintaining a balance in the body.

The Sage Twist Pose: This variation is actually a forward bend pose rather than a Supine Twist one. This position sees the student bending their torso forward with the help of their hips until their forehead manages to make contact with the knee of the lying bent leg. At the same time, the student also interlocks their hands behind their backs to extend the effects of the asana to the arms. This variation also makes this pose into more of a relaxing pose rather than a rejuvenating one as it majorly causes a stretch in the back rather than a twist.

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose With Hands Down And Head Turned Back: This pose is in a way a preparatory pose for the main Yoga asana, but can be done in isolation by students with minor back problems. As the name itself suggested, the hands are simply either busy holding onto the feet or supporting the torso rather than being wrapped around for increased body balance.

Chair Seated Twists: This variation of the Ardha Matsyendrasana solely focuses on the twists in the back and lets the other parts of the body rest. As is suggested by the name, the twist is done by the students while sitting on a chair.

Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose With Bolster: This is your standard Ardha Matsyendrasana, but in the case of this variation, a bolster (Two towels stacked on top of each other) kis kept under the knee of the leg that is lying flat on the ground in case the the students’ hip flexors are having a hard time opening up while performing the motion.

How Can One Get Better At Ardha Matsyendrasana?

The Ardha Matsyendrasana is a fairly complex pose, thus jumping right into it would be ill-advised. Instead, it is recommended that the practitioner must do a handful of preparatory and warm up poses such as the Balasana and the Tadasana regularly before adding this position to their Yoga routine.

Once the student has begun practising the pose, he/she can become better at it by practising it regularly and/or trying out more challenging variations of the same as time passes.

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