Paripurna Matsyendrasana – Paripurna means entire or complete. Matsyendra was one of the founders of Hatha Vidya.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front.
- Flex the right knee and place the right foot at the root of the left thigh, the right heel pressing against the navel. Bend the left knee up and bring it near the chest.
- Exhale, twist the trunk to the left, and swinging the left arm from the shoulder catch the right ankle with the left hand from behind the back. Grip the ankle firmly. This is the first stage.
- Lift the left foot over the right thigh and place it on the floor by the outer side of the right knee. Take a few breaths. This is the second stage.
- Again exhale, turn the trunk to the left to bring the right shoulder over to the left knee and hold the left foot with the right hand. Turn the neck to the left, raise the chin and gaze up. This is the final stage of the asana. Stay in this pose from 30 to 6o seconds according to your capacity. Breathing will be faster due to the pressure on the diaphragm.
- First release the hold on the left foot, lift it over the right thigh and stretch the left leg straight. Then release the grip on the right ankle, stretching the right leg straight and relax.
- In this pose the spine is twisted to its utmost limit and so it is easier if all movements are done with exhalation.
The following technique should be employed to practise on the other side.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. Bend the left knee and place the left foot at the root of the right thigh, the left heel pressing against the navel.
- Exhale, tum the trunk to the right, swing the right arm from the shoulder, grip the left ankle firmly with the right hand from behind the back and bend the right leg up. This is the first stage.
- Lift the right foot over the left thigh and place it on the floor by the outer side of the left knee. Take a few breaths. This is the second stage.
- Exhale again, turn the trunk to the right to bring the left shoulder over the right knee and with the left hand hold the right foot. Turn the neck to the right, raise the chin and gaze up. This is the final stage. Hold the pose on this side for the same length of time as on the other.
- Release the hold on the right foot, lift it over the left thigh and straighten the right leg. Next release the grip over the left ankle, straighten the left leg and relax.
Effects of Paripurna Matsyendrasana
Paripurna Matsyendrasana tones the spine by supplying the spinal nerves with a copious supply of blood. It increases gastric activity, helps to digest food and eliminate toxins. The spine and the abdomen being kept healthy ensure tranquillity of body and mind. The spine is given the maximum lateral twist.
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