Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose)
Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose
अर्धमत्स्येन्द्रासन / Ardha Matsyendrāsana
Ardha Matsyendrasana (ARE-dah M0T-see-en-DRAH-suh-nuh) keeps the spine elastic, aligns the vertebrae and retains the side-to-side mobility of the vertebrae, while relieving muscular problems in the back and hips. This pose also removes adhesion in the joints caused by rheumatism, increases synovial fluid in the joints and tones the spinal nerve roots and the sympathetic nervous system. This pose squeezes the vagus nerves and the root of the autonomic nervous system.
It also massages the abdominal organs, increasing peristaltic activity in the intestines. This prevents constipation, helps in dyspepsia and diabetes, improves liver efficiency and removes debility of the kidneys. It benefits those with sciatica or slipped disc, but they should practice it with great care.
Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati were having a deep discussion about yoga siddhi by a river bank. Unknown to them a fish was swimming by and got attracted to the description of Lord Shiva’s yogic practices and accomplishments. Matsya (the fish) begin to listen carefully, and his intelligence deepened with the instructions of Lord Shiva. Something magical began to happen: the fish got enlighten and took a human form. Matsyendra thereafter accepted Lord Shiva as his guru, and passed down the tradition of yoga to his students and a long lineage of yogis called Nath Yogis. This pose shall remind all Yogis of the lineage and how listening attentively to the guru can bring great benefits to humankind.
Women who are menstruating or pregnant should avoid this pose. For those with a stomach ulcer, hernia or hyperthyroidism, Ardha Matsyendrasana can be practiced carefully under the guidance of a teacher.
Going into the Pose
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).