10 Wonder Benefits of Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana) for Weight Loss, Diabetes

What is the meaning of the half-spinal twist pose?

  • The seated spinal twist yoga pose is also known as Ardha Matsyendrasana in Hindi, which consists of four words: Ardha means ‘Half’; Matsya indicates ‘Fish’; Endra means ‘King’ and Asana- denotes ‘yoga pose’. It is also known as Half Lord of the Fishes Pose.
  • Lord of the Fishes pose yoga is a wonderful yoga practice for the pancreas, liver, and kidney health. It is helpful in the management of diabetes. It plays a more significant role in preventing and managing blood sugar. Seated whole spinal twist, yoga gives remarkable twisting, compressing, and stretching to the entire body, especially the abdominal region.
  • In the given content, you will interact with what a full spinal twist pose is, how to do it, and its benefits and precautions. All these aspects have been systematically elaborated and mentioned. The easily explained steps, uses, precautions, images, and videos of the half spinal twist pose or Purna  Matsyendrasana will help you understand the asana technically correctly, thereby extracting its maximum benefits.
Wonder Benefits of Half Spinal Twist for Weight Loss, Diabetes
Half Spinal Twist Pose

How to do half lord of the fishes pose step by step

After following the given steps, practising Lord of the Fishes Pose will become simple and easy. These simple techniques will also ensure you practice Supta Matsyendrasana at your place. The step-by-step process for performing lord of the Fishes is given below:

  • Sit on a flat surface by making your legs straight before you.
  • Bend your right leg and put your foot outside the left knee, wherein the foot and toes of the right leg are pointed outwards.
  • Place the right hand on the right side of the body to make it balance.
  • Now, fold the right leg back to the left.
  • Place the left heel so it is in contact with the right buttock.
  • Twist yourself towards the right push so that twisting can also be experienced in the abdominal region.
  • One hand on the floor on the right side of the body, straightening the arms.
  • Grasp properly the right ankle with the left hand.
  • The back should be straight with the help of your right hand.
  • Same thing complete with another side.
  • Maintain the pose as long as you can.


If you want to extract the maximum benefits of the spinal twist pose, it is better to perform with breathing awareness and mechanism. Inhale when your legs are straight. Exhale while your body is in the twisting condition. In the final stage, inhale and exhale slowly. Again, inhale and come to the original position.

Muscular movement

Numerous muscles are involved while practising the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. The forces which experienced maximum twisting are the entire abdominal region, thighs, upper arms, hips, and buttocks. The pancreas, liver, and kidney muscles are finely massaged due to the practice of this yoga pose.

Half spinal twist pose in different schools of yoga

There are variations in various yoga schools while practising seated spinal twist yoga poses.

  • Iyengar yoga: Excess twisting, the arm, which balances the back, is lying with the back. The toes are not with the buttock; it is above the hip.
  • Vinyasa yoga: One arm is behind the back, and another pushes the knee towards the other direction. The arm is straight from the elbow upwards.
  • Ashtanga yoga: It is similar to vinyasa yoga.
  • Baba Ramdev yoga: It is similar to Iyengar yoga, but the toes of a leg are touching the buttocks here.
  • Art of living: The same procedure is followed as vinyasa yoga, but the body seems straight here.
  • Power yoga: The Main focus is on stretching and rigorous posture.
  • Hot yoga: It is similar to power yoga but more strenuous.
  • Satyananda yoga: It is similar to Iyengar yoga but with lesser twisting. Here, the arm is kept beside the back.
  • Bikram yoga: It is similar to Iyengar yoga.

10 surprising health benefits of half spinal twist pose

Some of the essential benefits of lord of fishes pose are given below.

  1. Diabetes treatment: The practising of this yoga pose gives excellent relief to sugar patients. It is just like a panacea for diabetes patients. It activates the pancreas cells, stirring the beta cells to produce the required amount of insulin, which helps manage and control blood sugar.
  2. Weight loss: An adequate amount of twisting and compressing to the abdominal region ensures belly fat burning. This essential yoga pose effectively sheds abdominal fat because of its twisting and compressing in nature.
  3. Spinal health: Practicing the pose regularly is a boon for spinal health. It provides greater flexibility to the entire spinal region, thus refreshing and rejuvenating the spinal column and preventing the body from many diseases.
  4. Backache, Neckache, and Headache: Since the pose gives adequate massage to the spinal column, it ensures smooth blood flow and energises the muscles and nerves of these regions. Accordingly, it benefits headaches, backache, and neck aches.
  5. Vertebra fusion: Vertebral fusion is quite joint among older adults. Since the asana shows an adequate torsion effect on the spine, it prevents the adjoining vertebra from fusing.
  6. Constipation: If somebody has the problem of constipation, he should perform it first from the right side so that faecal matter travels up the ascending colon and then downwards in the descending colon before being expelled from the body.
  7. Colon health: Practising the pose initially provides a twist to the right, followed by a left-side twist, compressing the colon and the associated muscles and nerves of this region.
  8. Relaxation: If the asana is practised for a more extended period, it gives a sense of relaxation to the body, thus fruitful to combat stress and anxiety.
  9. Sciatica and Slipped disc: It is also beneficial in treating sciatica and slipped discs if practised under a yoga therapist’s supervision.
  10. Stiff body: The practice of this asana needs a broader range of flexibility. However, if practised regularly by following the above-said technique, it helps to make your body rubber-like elasticity and flexibility, thereby reducing stiffness.

Contraindications and precautions

Some of the few contraindications/cautions/limitations of Purna  Matsyendrasana are:

  • Peptic ulcer
  • Hernia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pregnancy: It should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Heart ailments: People with heart problems should avoid this.
  • Brain problems: It also shouldn’t be practised in case of brain conditions.
  • Spinal problems: People with such problems should also avoid this asana.
  • Cervical spondylosis: Skip of having this problem
  • Knee and neck: Do it under the guidance of a therapist.
  • Sitting condition: While practising, don’t sit on the heel.
  • Twisting and torsion: Don’t twist unnecessarily.

 Beginner’s tip

The practice of this asana requires a high level of flexibility. To have mastery, initially, one should practice Vakrasana from both sides. Don’t push yourself. Do as per your flexibility, but try to maintain the regularity to have perfection.

 Preparatory pose

 Counter pose

The science behind Lord of the Fishes Pose

The fish pose is one of the essential yoga asanas beneficial for many diseases and disorders. To extract maximum benefits, one should be aware of the anatomy, physiology, and movement of all the muscles, including the science behind them. Various forces are experiencing viz. Splenius capitis, Rhomboids, Erector spinae, Sternocleidomastoid, etc., experiencing twisting and compressing while performing the yoga pose.

It applies powerful torsion to the trunk of the body wherein the muscles and nerves of the back and spine are contracted on one side while the muscles and nerves on the other are simultaneously stretched.

 Top 10 Facts of Half Spinal Twist Pose

  1. The lord of the fish pose is a boon for the spine and spinal region and acts as a rejuvenator for the spinal nerves and muscles.
  2. The yoga pose Ardha Matsyendrasana is named after the great yogi Matsyendranath, the human originator of Yoga.
  3. The asana helps to improve the function of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and adrenal glands.
  4. To get maximum pose benefits, the back should be passive.
  5. This is one of the most challenging asanas that require a ‘rubber-like body.
  6. It is one of the effective yoga poses used in diabetes treatment.
  7. It helps to reduce the enlargement of the prostate and bladder.
  8. By the practice of this asana, backache and pains in the hips disappear rapidly.
  9. It reduces the size of the abdomen.
  10. Lean people prefer to avoid practising this yoga pose.


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