Like many yoga twists it also really energises the spine and keeps the spine young. It stretches the hips, shoulders and neck.
Personally, this pose helps my back a lot, especially if I am mindful enough to find “the sweet spot”. The sweet spot is the exact place where I lean into my edge (the first sort of boundary my body communicates to me).
Finding your sweet spot
Pushing my edge just makes my body sore afterwards. But leaning into my edge and even moving in and out with barely noticeable pulses, while gently and mindfully breathing, just magically releases any tension held in that area.
It takes a certain discipline and love for yourself to become that intimate and honest with yourself to work in the right place with yoga. It’s not that I can’t twist further than that, I can, and so can we all! But going as far as you can in pose isn’t the point of yoga asana practice. It’s more about honesty and respect for yourself and the body you live in.
This of course counts for all poses/asanas in yoga, but for whatever reason, Ardha Matsyendrasana is the pose that I am reminded of this most. It’s very valuable for me.
Try it and let me know if you can figure out your “sweet spot” in Ardha Matsyendrasana and what it does for you to work there?
Take a look at ourstep by step guide to Ardha Matseyendrasana
If you’re an EkhartYoga member you can practise the pose in this class with Andrew Wrenn: Half an hour of Hatha