MATSYENDRA refers to the lord of the fish, and arhda means half, so this asana is also known as Half Lord of the Fish asana. If you have any spinal or back injuries, you should only do this pose under the guidance of an instructor.
In addition to aiding conception, Ardha Matsyendrasana has the following benefits:
Improves digestion and appetite, and aids constipation
Relieves menstrual discomfort
Strengthens the spine and back
Ardha Matsyendrasana is an asana from the hatha yoga school, and is very powerful with numerous benefits. It is known to destroy deadly diseases and it energises, tones and rejuvenates the entire body.
1. Sit on a mat with your knees bent in front of you. Slide your left foot inwards, so it sits beside your right hip, with your thigh resting on the floor.
2. Place your right foot besides the knee of your left foot, so it crosses it.
3. Hold the foot of your right foot with your left hand.
4. The left hand should cross the knee from the inside, and hold the foot from the outside.
5. Twist, and place the other hand behind your back. Exhale when you twist
6. Feel the stretch in your body, as all the organs stretch.
7. Repeat, with the opposite leg.
Help with the pose
This pose is difficult to achieve initially. You may find it difficult to grab your foot, and you may also find it difficult to turn. If you cannot reach the foot initially, try and reach whatever part of your leg you can - maybe the calf. Do this pose sitting close to a wall, so you can try and reach for the support of the wall as you turn around, instead of placing your hand on your back. Make sure you are not sitting too close to the wall though, you want to have place to turn around.
This is one of the more basic yoga asanas and once you learn how to do this, your flexibility will greatly improve with regard to various other asanas as well. The best part about this asana is that it stretches your back, spine and legs, without putting any pressure on your back or spine! And, of course, it aids conception. Other benefits include:
Reduces flat foot
Strengthens the knees
Stimulates the prostrate gland
Reduces blood pressure, backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort
1. Lie on your back, legs straight.
2. Bend your left knee as you exhale, and bring it to your torso.
3. Hug your thigh and hold this pose to the count of five.
4. Make sure your other leg is firmly pressed to the floor. Resist your knee and foot bending outwards, and pull them inward.
5. Loop a strap, cloth or rope around your left foot, and hold the strap with your hands as you straighten your foot.
6. Make sure your shoulders are touching the floor. You may find it easier to lift your shoulders, but make sure you resist the temptation!
7. Once your straighten your foot, draw it further back, so the angle between your legs is more than 90 degrees.
Paschimottanasana also aids conception, so make sure you add it to your workout. All the best!