How to do the Ardha Matsyendrasansanana – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasansanana Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasansanana Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

 Method alignment:

  • Sit with both legs straight in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Adjust your legs so that you can sit evenly on your sitting bones. If your back is rounding, sit on a folded blanket.
  • Cross your right foot over your left thigh and place it on the floor outside your left knee.
  • Fold your left leg in, with your foot outside your right hip.
  • Hold your right knee with your left hand, and place your right hand on the floor diagonally behind you.
  • Lift your left arm high. Twist the torso as you draw your elbow down on the outside of your right thigh.
  • Square your hips to the front edge of your mat, and sit upright, centring your weight on your sitting bones.
  • Keep trying to square your hips by pulling your left thigh back just the right amount. (If you have a tender lower back, let your hips move into the twist.) Keep pressing your right foot and right hip down.


  • Makes the back muscles supple
  • Simultaneously stretches the muscles on one side of the back and abdomen while contracting the muscles on the other side.
  • Relieves lumbago and muscular spasms.
  • It gives a massage to the abdominal organs; good for digestion

 Beginner’s attention:

  • Try to keep the hips squared and the right knee pointing straight up. As you twist, see if you can balance the actions of twisting to the right in the upper body and pulling to the left in the lower body.
  • Focus on each section of your back; lengthen and turn through the waist, ribs, shoulders, neck, and head.
  • Constricted breath: If you’re struggling to breathe deeply, back out of the twist a bit and try to slow your breath down.
  • If you are stiff or have bulky thighs, instead of bending one leg and placing your foot by the side of your buttock, that leg can remain straight.


How to get out of the pose:

Slowly unwind on an exhalation, and try your second side.


Use of props and physiological attention/ adjustments:

  • Back pain: If you have lower-back pain, do not try to square your hips. Let the back hip follow the spine in the direction of the twist.
  • Tight shoulders: In Step 2 and the final pose, instead of pressing the elbow against the lifted knee, hold the knee with your hand. Take several deep breaths.



  • Pregnant women should not do this.
  • People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia or hyperthyroidism, sciatica or slipped disk should not practice this.

Wrong alignment Ardha Matsyendrasansanana Half Lord of the Fishes PoseWrong Alignment:

  • Shoulders rounded
  • Sit bone of the floor
  • Left arm not firmly pressing to the knee
  • Right arm on the side instead of on the back
  • Gaze sideward






Ardha Matsyendrasansanana Half Lord of the Fishes PoseRight Alignment Ardha Matsyendrasansanana – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

  • Shoulders blades together
  • Left arm firmly pressing to the right knee
  • Gaze backwards
  • Both arms in place
  • Sit bones on the floor.