Half lord of the fishes (Version A)

Ardha matsyendrasana A

Pronunciation: (ard-ha mats-yun-DRAS-unna)

Level: Beginner


1. From Bound Angle or Easy pose, extend the right leg straight out in front of you, cross the left leg over the right, placing the left foot flat on the floor close to the right knee.

2. Wrap the right arm around the left knee and pull the knee in towards your chest. Press down through the hips and up through the crown to lengthen the spine.

3. Inhale the left hand up and as you exhale reach the arm around your back placing the palm on the floor fingers facing back. Press the arm into the back to keep the back straight. Look over the left shoulder towards the back wall. For a deeper twist, place the right elbow to the inside of the left knee.

4. As you inhale press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. As you exhale use the arms to gently deepen the twist. Relax the shoulders down and press the chest open.

5. Breathe and hold for 4-7 breaths.

6. To release: inhale the left hand up and exhale untwisting the body, facing the front. Repeat other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Half Lord of the Fishes pose opens, lengthens, nourishes and realigns the spine. This pose stimulates the nervous, digestive and reproductive systems.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic hip, back or shoulder injury or inflammation.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a yoga block under the hand behind your back.

Variations: A) For a deeper twist, try Ardha Matsyendrasana B instead.


Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Seated Head to Knee, Half Up Boat, Pigeon, Revolved Head to Knee.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Forward Fold, Crab, Seated Angle, Bound Angle.

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Comments 2

    1. Timothy Burgin Post

      The hand can be relaxed but spreading and reaching through them will create a bit more energy flowing through the arm and uppper body.

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