How to Do a Half Lord of The Fishes Pose?

The Sanskrit name for the half lord of the fish pose is Ardha Matsyendrasana. It is named after a yoga master of the 10th century from India, Matsyendra. If we break down the name, it comes from words like Ardha, which means half, Matsya meaning fish, Indra meaning ruler, and lastly, Asana meaning pose. 

It comes under the category of Hatha yoga that involves a deep-seated twist. The twisting poses should be added in your yoga session as it increases flexibility in the spine, relaxes the nervous system, and calms the mind. In addition, it improves digestion and detoxifies internal organs. 

Half lord of the fish pose is not very technical and can be performed by beginner’s level yogis. Modern practitioners agree that it allows you to stretch your spine, neck, and shoulder. It also provides relief from fatigue and backaches. Moreover, it is effective in patients suffering from sciatic pain.

The Idea of The Half Lord of The Fishes Pose

One of the Half Lord of the fishpose’s greatest ideas is that it allows a deep stretch in the upper body that you can not achieve in the normal body movements of daily routine. If too much tension builds up in areas around the neck and spine, it could disturb the bony alignment, and your mobility will be compromised. Therefore, we are sharing simple steps with you to get started with Ardha Mastsyendrasana.

Steps: How To Perform A Half Lord of The Fishes Pose

Step 1:

Drink a glass of water and get into your yoga pants. Sit on the mat and take your legs straight out in front of you. You can place a cushion of a blanket underneath for support. Now bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Then move your left foot under your right leg and keep the outside of the left leg on the floor. The left foot should be touching the outer side of the right hip. Now cross your right foot over the left leg.

Step 2:

Try to make yourself comfortable in this position. Remember that the right knee must be pointing directly up at the ceiling. Now work on your breathing along with changing the body position. Exhale and twist the body towards the inside of the right thigh. Put your left arm on your right thigh near the knee and right hand against the floor behind your right hip.

Step 3:

Now, press your inner right foot into the floor and release the right groin. Work your way to lengthen the front torso. Then lean your upper torso back slightly and continue to lengthen the tailbone into the floor. Turn your head in either the right or left direction. Exhale and gently twist the torso a little further by turning to the right side. You can also turn to the left side, look over the left shoulder at the right foot.

Step 4:

With every breath, try to get deeper in the pose. Lift your sternum while pushing your fingers against the floor. Twist a little more to provide a nice stretch to your muscles while you exhale. Complete it on one side and then move to the other side of the body to evenly distribute the twist on the entire spine. Maintain a position for at least 30 seconds and slowly release while you exhale. Return to the starting position and repeat. You can also watch a video for a demonstration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Tips?

If you are new to this pose, the following tips will come in handy while you practice the Half Lord of the Fish Pose. Moreover, the opposite-side arm is required to be wrapped around the raised leg. This might be potentially challenging for beginners. At the start, just wrap your arm across the raised leg and hug the thigh to the torso.

What if I Need a Modification?

If you find this pose difficult to adapt to or looking for a bit of change, you can try the modified pose. If you do not put any block or blanket under your tailbone, you can add it underneath for a variation. Another option is instead of bringing the right elbow outside the left knee; you can go for an easier version that includes hugging the left knee with your right arm.

Any Safety Concerns?

As much as yoga is beneficial, it also comes with a possibility of injury to your muscles or spine. Therefore, safety must be your priority. Do not push your limits or overstretch your muscles. Always start with a nice warm-up. This position is contraindicated for those who had a recent surgery or are pregnant. If you feel any kind of unbearable pain during the session, stop it immediately and consult a professional.


This fantastic pose will take away all the tension from your upper and lower back and soothes your body. Here is a little piece of information: When you twist your body to the left, it puts pressure on the descending colon, and when you twist to the right, pressure will be placed on the ascending colon. This right-left order mimics the pattern of digestion. Because of this, if you reverse the sequence and pressure is put on the descending colon first, it may cause aggravate constipation and bloating. So, keep this in mind during this pose.