Seated Twist - Australian School of Meditation & Yoga | ASMY

Seated Twist


(Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Level: Easy/Moderate

Benefits: Stimulates the liver, kidneys and digestive organs. Stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck. Energizes the spine. Relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica and backache.

Cautions: Back or spine injury.

How To

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you Lengthen into your heels. Bend your left knee and place your foot on the outside of your right leg.
  2. Inhale and while holding your left knee with the right hand lengthen your torso and raise your left arm. Exhale and turn to the left lowering your left hand to the floor behind you. You may now increase the twist by hugging your knee with your right elbow. (fig 1)
  3. If you are ready for a more intense twist bring the right elbow over the knee and lift the fingers to the ceiling, you may also bend your right leg, bringing the right foot to the side of the left thigh (fig. 2)
  4. With every inhalation press your left fingers into the floor and lift a little more through the front of the body. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Keep the twist evenly distributed throughout the entire length of the spine.
  5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side for the same length of time.
  • If your back is rounding sit on a folded blanket.
  • If you have to lean back to reach the floor place a block under your back hand.
To Deepen
  • Bring your right shoulder over your left knee. Drop your right arm and thread it under your left leg. Reach your left arm around your back and join hands behind. (fig.3) If your hands do not meet bridge the gap with a belt.