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Half Lord of the Fishes

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana) is a seated spinal twist, promoting flexibility, digestion, and energy flow.







How to do Half Lord of the Fishes Pose Yoga

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose can be done by:

  1. Start by sitting with your legs extended straight in front of you (staff pose).

  2. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the floor, close to your left thigh.

  3. Slide your left foot under your right leg, bringing it close to your right hip.

  4. Ensure both sit bones are firmly rooted on the ground, maintaining an upright posture.

  5. Inhale and lengthen your spine, lifting through the crown of your head.

  6. As you exhale, twist your torso to the right, placing your left hand on the ground behind you for support.

  7. Bend your right arm and bring your elbow to the outside of your left knee, pressing your thigh gently with the elbow.

  8. Keep your spine long as you twist, avoiding rounding your back.

  9. Option to place your right hand on the floor behind you or clasp your hands together around your left knee.

  10. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and open your chest to deepen the twist.

  11. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply and maintaining the twist.

  12. To release, gently unwind the twist, coming back to the center.

  13. Straighten your legs and repeat the pose on the other side, bending your left knee this time.


If you find Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana) challenging or if you have certain physical limitations or conditions that make the full expression of the pose difficult, there are several options and alternatives you can try:

1. Modification with a Block: If you have difficulty reaching the floor with your hand or experience strain in the lower back, place a yoga block under your hand for support. This will help you maintain proper alignment and reduce the intensity of the twist.

2. Use a Strap: If you have limited shoulder or arm flexibility, you can use a yoga strap to bridge the gap between your hands. Hold the strap with both hands and use it to gently guide the twist, maintaining a comfortable range of motion.

3. Easy Seated Twist: If the seated twist is challenging, you can perform a gentler version by sitting cross-legged and simply twisting your torso to one side, using your hands on your knees for support. This reduces the intensity while still providing benefits.

4. Supine Twist: If you have difficulty sitting on the floor, you can perform a supine twist. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and drop them to one side while keeping your shoulders grounded. This twist can be more accessible and comfortable for some individuals.

5. Chair Twist: For those with balance issues or limited mobility, you can perform a seated twist in a chair. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, twist your torso to one side, and hold the backrest or the seat of the chair for support.

6. Supported Twist: Use props like bolsters or cushions to provide support during the twist. This can make the pose more comfortable and help you relax into the twist.

7. Alternative Twists: If you prefer other twisting poses, you can explore options like Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) or Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana) to still enjoy the benefits of twists.

Remember, the key is to listen to your body and find a variation that suits your individual needs and capabilities. It's always best to practice under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor, especially when modifying poses to ensure safety and alignment.


While Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana) can be beneficial for many practitioners, there are certain cautions and contraindications to keep in mind:

  1. Spinal issues: If you have a herniated disc, sciatica, or any other serious spinal issues, it's best to avoid or modify this pose. Twisting may exacerbate these conditions.

  2. Recent or chronic injury: Avoid this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury, especially in the spine, hips, knees, or shoulders.

  3. Pregnancy: Twisting poses can compress the abdomen, which is not suitable during pregnancy. Avoid this pose if you are pregnant.

  4. High or low blood pressure: Twisting poses can affect blood pressure. If you have high or low blood pressure, be cautious or avoid this pose.

  5. Peptic ulcers or hernias: Twisting can put pressure on the abdominal area, which may not be suitable for those with peptic ulcers or hernias.

  6. Vertigo or dizziness: Twisting poses can cause dizziness in some individuals. If you experience vertigo or dizziness, avoid this pose.

  7. Recent abdominal surgery: If you've had abdominal surgery recently, avoid this pose until you've fully healed.

  8. Wrist or ankle injuries: Be mindful of your wrist and ankle joints, especially if you have any injuries or limitations in these areas.

  9. Pregnancy: This pose involves twisting, which is generally not recommended during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters.

Always consult with a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare provider if you have any concerns or pre-existing medical conditions before attempting Half Lord of the Fishes or any other yoga pose. They can help you with appropriate modifications or suggest alternative poses that suit your needs.

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