Sanskrit: Ardha Matsyendrasana Western Term: Seated Twist Pose
It's time to get twisttttty (and, yes, this is the first image I think of when twists come to mind. I love twizzlers).
Origin of Word
Ardha = half; Matsyandrasana = Lord of the fishes, first teacher of Yoga to mankind
Type of Asana: Twist
1. Sit in Dandasana (staff pose). Bend the left leg in and turn the foot at right angles to the shin with the inner heel under the left buttock, the toes under the right buttock, and the foot horizontal. Make sure to curl the foot to ensure that the edge rather than the top of the foot is on the floor. With the left knee facing straight ahead, bend the right knee up.
2. With the right knee facing the ceiling, take the right knee over the left knee. Keep the right thigh, knee, shin, and foot in line while placing the foot by the left outer thigh, facing diagonally away from it. Press the fingertips into the floor and draw the upper body up.
3. Inhale lifting the left arm up while dropping the shoulder blades down the back. Exhale to bend the left elbow bringing the left elbow on the outside of the right thigh. Press the elbow against the thigh as you press the thigh against the elbow twisting your body. Each time you inhale get taller in the spine, each time you exhale twist an inch further.
4. Stay for 20-30 seconds before releasing twist to take on the opposite side of the body.
*Keep both feet active; do not slide off the left foot.
*Take the upper body closer to the legs. Leave no space between the armpit and knee.
*Take the shoulders back and the bottom ribs in.
Emphasized Body Parts: shoulders, spine
One too many beers? No judgment. It happens. Twists are super detoxifying getting into the internal organs in the body. Make sure to do the right side first and then the left, to keep things flowing in the correct direction ;)
Mental Achievements: Twists are detoxifying for the body but can also be detoxifying for the soul. Each time you exhale and twist deeper, think of detoxifying and releasing yourself from anything in your life holding you back.
An aid for beginners: kramas or levels of a pose give us yogis with various levels options. For any given pose, there are various levels of difficulty. This krama that I offer is for beginners to the pose:
-Place a folded blanket under the bottom foot and/or another between the heel and buttocks if needed. Put the left hand on a block or low ledge to improve the lift and turn of the upper body. Turn toward a wall and press your hands against it.
For Advanced Yogis:
-Inhale deeply as you try to connect the hands behind the back in a bind.
Chakra: 2nd chakra, Svadhisthana chakra. This chakra is associated with the color orange symbolized by a six-petaled lotus. It is located in the lower abdomen and pelvis. Open the 2nd chakra and get in touch with your sensuality.
Get your groove on with the bija mantra or “seed sound” by repeating vam while in a second chakra pose.
Ancient Sanskirt Proverb: “Hunger, thirst, and desire are like a man’s wives. They do not desert a man throughout his life. Of them, desire is the most faithful. Others leave at least temporarily after eating and drinking.”
Try taking the twist near a body of water to help deepen this connection.
Twists are cleansing and rev up your metabolism. Here is one of my favorite guilt-free and energizing juices.You can buy it at a juicing place like Roost (Portland, ME) or Organic Avenue (Manhattan, NYC). It's delicious and nutritious ;)
Ingredients: spinach, cucumber, kale, apple, ginger, and beets (if you want the extra sweetness).
Get your juice before and after Thanksgiving to help cleanse the body from the heavier foods we consume during the hedonistic holiday :) Happy weekend!
http://tulaa7.com/chakra2-orange.html. Viewed 11/15/12.
Mira, Sylva & Mehta, Shyam. “Yoga the Iyengar Way: the new definitive illustrated guide.” Forwarded by B.K.S. Iyengar. US, New York: 2010. Mira, Sylva & Mehta, Shyam. “Yoga the Iyengar Way: the new definitive illustrated guide.” Forwarded by B.K.S. Iyengar. US, New York: 2010. Page 58.