ETYMOLOGY: MATSYENDRA is a term referring to the lord of the fish, and ARDHA means half.
ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA is a pose unique in Hatha Yoga, as it transmits to the spine two ways of spinning, to the left and to the right. Consequently, this pose acts on both aspects of Vishuddha chakra, in both its receptive and emissive forms.
HOW TO PERFORM THIS ASANA
The receptive (Yin) aspect:
Sit on the floor. Bend your left leg, so that the heel touches the perineum. Then bend the right leg and place it over the left leg, so that the right heel touches the left knee.
Twist your spine in a clock-wise direction, towards the right, and then place the right knee beneath the left underarm. Stretch the left arm and hold the right sole with the fingers. Bend the right arm and hold it around your back, at the level of the waist.
Turn your head in a clock-wise direction. The eyes are closed, and as if they would look towards the right, as much in the back as possible.
Perceive the activation of Vishuddha chakra in its receptive, sensitive aspect and a different perception on time and space.
The emissive (Yang) aspect:
Sit on the floor. Bend your right leg, so that the heel touches the perineum.
Then bend the left leg and place it over the right leg, so that the left heel touches the right knee.
Twist your spine in a counter clock-wise direction, towards the left, and then place the left knee beneath the right underarm. Stretch the right arm and hold the left sole with the fingers. Bend the left arm and hold it around your back, at the level of the waist.
Turn your head in a counter clock-wise direction. The eyes are closed, and as if they would look towards the left, as much in the back as possible.
Perceive the activation of Vishuddha chakra in its emissive, controlling aspect and a different perception on time and space. Perceive also the possibility of being able to choose a particular moment in time on which to focus in order to perceive it in a distinct manner.
HOW LONG TO PERFORM THIS ASANA
The static part on each time you perform this pose should last for 5-10 minutes at least because this is the duration from which this asana has physiological effects.
The advanced practitioners will perform it for a longer period. It is however important to note that the maximum of beneficialial effects are to become obvious only after at least 30 minutes of practice on each side.
- This pose stretches all the muscles and ligaments of the spine.
- It prevents the abnormal curves of the spine, and in case they already exist, they will be cured through perseverant practice.
- It also prevents or remedies the ossification of the fifth lumbar vertebra.
- It prevents the arthritis crisis, pain in the back and even certain forms of sciatica.
- Through its beneficial action on the chain of sympathetic ganglions placed along the spine, this asana tones the whole organism.
- Another notable effect of this asana is the rejuvenation of the physical body.
- Its influence on the suprarenal glands and on the thyroid is beneficialial.
- The compression of the abdomen tones the inner organs, stimulates them and increases the digestive fire.
- The constipation is eliminated.
- This pose tones the sympathetic nervous system and refreshes the organism.