Ardha Matsyendrasana II is a variation of Ardha Matsyendrasana I and it gives a greater lateral twist to the spine.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front.
- Bend the right knee and place the right foot at the root of the left thigh, pressing the heel against the navel.
- Exhale, turn the trunk 90 degrees to the left, swing the left arm from the shoulder behind the back, bend the left elbow and with the left hand grasp the right ankle or shin.
- The left leg should remain stretched straight on the floor throughout, and the sole of the left foot or the left big toe should be held by the right hand and the right arm should be kept straight. To start with one finds it difficult to keep the left leg stretched throughout on the floor. In that case bend the left knee, catch the left big toe with the right hand and then straighten out both the right arm and the left leg. Turn the neck to the right and gaze over the right shoulder.
- Keep the knees near each other and stay in the position from 30 to 60 seconds while trying to maintain normal breathing which at first will be fast due to the lateral twist.
- Release the grip on the legs, straighten them and then repeat the pose on the other side, changing the word left to that for right and vice versa.
- Stay on both sides for the same length of time and then relax.
Effects of Ardha Matsyendrasana II
The abdominal organs are toned by being contracted on one side and stretched on the other. Due to the lateral twist of the spine, backaches, lumbago and pain in the hip joints disappear rapidly. The neck muscles become more powerful and the shoulder movements become easier. The prostate and bladder do not become hypertrophied if one practises this asana regularly. Ardha Matsyendrasana II helps one to achieve Paripurna Matsyendrasana, where the spine is given the maximum lateral twist.
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