THE ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA - Spine Twisting Pose, Bikram Yogasanas

Everyone always wants to know why we only do one set of Spine Twisting Pose after doing every other posture twice in the series. The answer is simple – there is no need for a second set of Spine Twisting Posture because the purpose of the posture is to create equilibrium in the spine and the left and right sides of the body where the second set of other postures is generally to go deeper.

How to Do:
^ Kneel and sit on your feet with your heels pointing outward.
^ Then sit to the right of your feet, as illustrated.
^ Lift your left leg over your right, placing the foot against the outside of the right knee. 
^ Bring your right heel in close to your buttocks. Keep the spine erect.
^ Stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, and twist around to the left. 
^ Now bring the right arm down on the outside of the left knee and hold your left foot with
   your right hand, placing your left hand on the floor behind you. As you exhale, twist as far 
   as possible to the left. Look over the left shoulder. 

^ Make sure to sit so that both buttocks are firmly on the floor
^ Make sure the heel of your foot on the floor is touching the side of your buttock
^ Bend your other knee and put your foot down directly to the outside of your other knee
^ Make sure your hand is between the knee and the ankle and that they are all touching

^ Compresses and stretches spine from the bottom to the top
^ Increases hip and back flexibility
^ Improves digestion
^ Firms the buttocks, thighs and abdomen
^ Improves elasticity, flexibility, circulation and nutrition to the spinal nerves, vessels 
   and tissues
^ Relieves lower back pain and helps to prevent slipped discs, rheumatism of the spine,
   kyphosis, scoliosis, cervical spondylosis and arthritis

The Spinal Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana prepares the body for the full Yoga Posture. It is advisable to practice this pose under the supervision of a Yoga instructor.


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