Ardha Matsyendrasana
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Ardha Matsyendrasana, Half Lord of the Fishes Pose is one of the many yoga poses which work on improving your spinal cord and thus your nervous system. It also boosts up your digestive system while preparing you for the whole day with boosted-up energy.

If we look at the origin of the name, its Sanskrit name is Ardha Matsyendrasana which is pronounced as ARE-dah-MOT-see-en-DRAHS-anna. It is derived from the word Ardha which means half and Matsyendra, which is the name of the king of fish. The word matsyendra is again divided into two parts. Matsya means fish and Indra means ruler, Matsyaendra was a legendary teacher of yoga.

Ardha Matsyendrasana, Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Ardha Matsyendra-asana:

Step-by-Step guide to achieving the Ardha Matsyendrasana perfect pose:

Step 1

Before starting any yoga asana, the first step pose is to sit on the ground with your legs stretched forward, in front of you. For better help, use a folded blanket to sit on. This will lift your buttocks a little. Thus, decreasing the strain on the hips a little. Sit on the blanket evenly. Now, bend your knees towards yourself until your feet lie flat on the ground, you will now see that your legs are in a V shape. Next, slide your left foot under the right leg towards the other side. That is, put your leg folded to the outside of your right-side hip. Lay the leg completely on the floor while keeping the leg bent in a comfortable angle. After that, sweep your right leg towards the left side, above your left leg. However, the right leg should be bend and in a standing position on the floor. Place it just beside the left hip. Make sure that your knee is pointing towards the ceiling directly. Make sure to breathe deeply and properly.

Step 2

Now exhale slowly and slightly bend your torso toward the inner part of your right thigh. Place the right hand with the palm flat on the floor and make sure to keep your hands straight. Now press the floor while you place your hand behind the right buttock. The next thing to do is to put your left hand right outside your right knee. Keep the hand in a waving position and palms should be facing the wall in front of you. Pull your front torso towards your inner thigh holding together snugly.

Step 3

Take a deep breath and press your right foot on the floor. With your right foot lying flat on the floor, you can put some pressure on your foot and then release the pressure on the right groin. Slowly lean your upper torso towards the back, against the shoulder blades and then continue to lengthen the last vertebrae or the tail bone into the floor.

Step 4

Explore your limits. Continue to breathe fluidly while you are in this position. Now, turn a little more towards your right. Continue to turn yourself towards the right by moving your torso too. Also, you can move your torso towards the left or just turn your head to the left while looking over your left shoulder towards your right foot. Remember to inhale and exhale comfortably.

Step 5

With every breath, you take, lift your sternum (breast bone) a little more while pushing the fingers on the ground for help. Try to twist your body gradually with every breath you release. Try to divide your pressure throughout your back or the entire spine and do not concentrate on the lower part only. Take a long 30 seconds while being on the pose. You can even stretch it to 1 minute depending on your comfort. Then exhale and return to the normal position. After that repeat, the asana but this time, reverse the position. Continue doing the same pose for the same time as the previous one.

Benefits of the Ardha Matsyendrasana Yoga Pose:

  • This asana mainly focuses on your spinal cord. Therefore, it improves the functioning of the vertebrae.
  • It is good for increasing the flexibility of your body.
  • This asana stretches the muscles on your back and the spine.
  • It is highly beneficial for people with constipation and digestion issues.
  • Doing this asana every day will help to circulate blood all over your body and increase the oxygen supply inside the lungs.
  • If you have stiffness or airlocks on the hip joints, this asana will help you to release the pain
  • This yoga asana is great for slipped disc patients.
  • The yoga also eradicated back problems completely.
  • It increases the blood flow to all the organs of the body, especially the pelvic region. Thus, improves the function of the reproductive organ.
  • It keeps the menstrual cycle in women proper and cures menstruation-related problems and prevents PCOD in women.
  • The Ardha Matsyendrasana helps in the treatment of diabetes, cervical spondylitis, constipation, spinal problem, and urinary tract disorder.

Contraindication of Ardha Matsyendrasana Yoga Pose:

  • This asana should be avoided at all costs during pregnancy and menstrual cycle as this asana includes strong abdominal twists. This can lead to more pain and cramps in the abdomen, inner thighs, hips, and back.
  • If you are a person with heart, brain or abdominal surgery, do not practice this asana as it can lead to complications.
  • Do this asana under supervision or take proper care if you suffer from peptic ulcer or hernia.
  • In case of severe spinal problems or injuries, doing this asana can be harmful
  • In the case of mild slipped disc, this asana might result beneficial. However, in severe cases, it can do more harm than good.
  • Seek proper guidance if a first-timer, do not rush as it can lead to airlocks if not done properly.


The Ardha Matsyendra is one of the basic poses which involve the rotation of the spine. There are many asanas that bend your backbone either forwards, backward or sideward. However, to be really flexible, the spine should be twisted laterally and thus, this asana is the best to achieve that. This asana tones the spinal nerves, including the ligaments in the back, thighs, and hips.

Read our article on The Fish Pose.

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