Yoga Poses

The Best Twisting Pose for Cleansing and Energizing

Rejuvenate with these variations of Ardha Matsyendrasana, or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

This seated spinal twist improves posture, stimulates the digestive tract, and offers a deep, cleansing stretch.

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)


Begin in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) with your right leg crossed on top of your left. Root down with your sitting bones and elongate your spine. Imagine a central axis running from your pelvic floor through your torso to the crown of your head. Try to keep it straight and your body steady so that you don’t sway or lean in any direction. Keep your left leg where it is, and bring your right foot to the mat outside of your left knee. With your right big-toe mound, root down, and drop your right outer hip. Inhale, and lift your left arm toward the ceiling. Exhale, and turn your torso to the right, hooking your left elbow outside your right knee. Lower your right hand to the floor beside your right hip. Press your right knee away from your midline to create more resistance for your left elbow to work against. Inhale, and elongate your central axis, turning your upper body deeper into the twist. Hold for at least 5 breaths, and repeat on the other side (pictured). 

Restorative Supported Twist


Try this version for a calming version of this pose. While seated on a mat, place a bolster lengthwise on your yoga mat. Shift your right hip to touch the short edge of the prop. Drape your torso on the bolster, belly side down. Rest your arms on either side of the prop. Keep your knees bent. Turn your head to your left. Hold for 5 minutes. Repeat on the other side. 

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose with Leg Outstretched


If you struggle to anchor both hips in the pose, try it with your bottom leg extended for additional stability. Exhale to release and repeat on the other side.

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose in a Chair


If your knees and hips are uncomfortable when seated in this pose, try this: sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and parallel. As you twist your torso toward one leg, grab a hold of the arm rest or the side or back of the chair and turn your body toward it to deepen the twist. Exhale to unwind, and repeat on the other side.

Try this yoga chair to bring creativity to your practice. 

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