Ardha-Matsyendrasana

Spine Twisting Pose 

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Congratulations! You’ve made it to the last posture of the series & it’s only one set each side.
Time to tell yourself you’ve got this! Let’s give this posture as much energy as we gave half moon!
In the words of the late Chubby Checker:
Come on let’s twist again,
Like we did last summer!
Yeaaah, let’s twist again,

Like we did last year!

Do you remember when,
Things were really hummin’,
Yeaaaah, let’s twist again,

(Spine) Twistin’ time is here!

1. Sit up and face the BYC windows.
2. Bend your left leg, so that your left foot sits next to your right hip/buttock. Your left foot wants to sit next/touch the side of the buttock and never under. It is intergral to the allignment of this posture that both buttocks are on the floor weight evenly distributed. Left toes pointed. Unless this causes pain in the bent knee, if that is the cause then keep the leg straight.
3. Bend your right knee up and place your right foot next to your left knee, so that the heel of your foot is touching the knee.
4. Bring your left arm up and over the right knee, elbow against the knee.
5. Push the knee back, with the left elbow, so you hold the left knee with your left hand. Your left knee, left hand, left heel should all be together.
6. Sit up, keeping the spine straight and stomach engaged throughout the posture.
7. Place your right arm against your back, heel of the hand at the base of your spine. Push against the floor to help to straighten your spine. For advanced practitioners, try wrapping your arm around your back and hold onto your left thigh.
8. So while 1-7 may have just been the set up, they are very important. It is integral, like with all postures, to get the correct alignment. Without this we are cheating our body of the benefits of the posture. So make sure you have the set up right!

9. Breathe. Chest up. Spine straight. Look over your right shoulder, chin over the shoulder and twist your body  to the right, as far as you can, whilst continuing to lift the spine up. Look back, twist back, stretch up, twist, twist, twist… and change. Now to do the other side.

10. One you’ve finished the right   your done!!!!! You’ve completed all 26 postures of the bikram series!!!! You deserve a pat on the back in the form of a beautiful long savasana.

Before we leave spine twist, does it ever cross you mind, why there is no second set?

There simply is no need for one. The purpose of spine twist is to create equilibrium in the spine. The second set of postures are usually there to allow us to go deeper, which is not needed in this posture. So make sure you get all your twisting done first time!

ARDHA-MATSYENDRASANA

Spine Twisting Pose 

Benefits:

Compresses and stretches spine from the bottom to the top.
Increases hip and back flexibility.
Improves digestion.
Firms the buttocks, thighs and abdomen.
Improves elasticity, flexibility, circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, vessels and tissues.
Increases synovial fluid of the joints.
Removes adhesions in the joints caused by rheumatism.
Tones the roots of the spinal nerves and sympathetic nervous system, detoxifying the body.
Opens bronchial muscles and rib cage.
Helps prevent slipped disc.
Relieves lower back pain.
Helps sciatica and arthritis of the knee.
Massages kidneys, liver, gall bladder, spleen and bowels.

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