HOW TO: Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

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This pose is officially referred to as Half Lord of the Fishes pose, which is what Ardha Matsyendrasana translates to. It is great for the spine and the low back, and it also helps ease digestive discomfort. I like to do this pose right before bed as it helps relax your body and mind for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Instructions:
Begin seated on your yoga mat with you legs bent and the soles of your feet on the mat.

Slide your left foot underneath the right leg and bring that foot towards the outer edge of the right thigh.

Step the right foot over the left leg and bring the sole of the foot to the mat on the outside of the left thigh. Intend to keep both sitting bones on the mat.

Stretch your right arm back behind you, bring your hand to the mat  several inches behind your tailbone.

Inhale your left arm up overhead and on your exhale twist to the right, bringing your right arm to the outside of your left thigh.

Gaze out over your right shoulder or down towards the mat.

With ever inhale try to straighten and elongate the spine and with every exhale try to twist deeper in the pose.

Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat on the other side.

Modifications:
Keep the left leg straight

Place the right hand on a yoga mat if you can’t bring your fingers to the mat.

Benefits: 
Increases the flexibility and range of motion in your spine

Opens the chest and shoulders

Strengthens the obliques

Stretches and opens your hips

Detoxifies the liver and kidneys and stimulates the digestive system

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