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Matsyendrasana - Yoga Pose to Help You Open Your Heart Chakra

PS is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.



Matsyendrasana is a Sanskrit name for the Lord of the Fishes Pose. This asana requires a highly flexible body and can’t be performed by beginners or sometimes, even intermediate yoga trainees. So, to avoid any difficulty, most of the people perform Ardha Matsyendrasana, where Ardha means half.

A fully performed asana is called as Paripurna Matsyendrasana.

The asana is named after the founder of hatha yoga, Matsyendra. He was a Hindu saint and yogi, who lived during the 10th century.

Why you should practice Matsyendrasana?

The twisted pose of Matsyendrasana can influence your spiral energies to the 4th level i.e. Anahata also called the heart chakra. Here are the other major benefits:

  1. Regulates liver and kidneys functioning
  2. Relaxes shoulders, hips, and neck
  3. Aides digestion
  4. Prevents menstrual discomfort and backache
  5. Recommended for asthma patients
  6. Awakens kundalini energy
  7. Fights with most of the deadly diseases
  8. Stimulates the spine
  9. Prevents infertility
  10. Increases flexibility
  11. Boosts blood circulation
  12. Cures urinary infections
  13. Cleanses the internal organs
  14. Prevents fatigue and headache

How you should practice Matsyendrasana?

Take precautions when starting the asana. Don’t rush. Focus on your breathing in and out.

Yogi Ghamande performing the Matsyendrasana

Yogi Ghamande performing the Matsyendrasana

Before Matsyendrasana, start the routine with Pranayama.


  1. Sit on the mat with straight legs and erect spine
  2. Bend your left leg and move it under the right leg outside your right hip
  3. Place the right foot over the left leg and keep it straight outside the left hip.
  4. Exhale and twist your upper body around the inside of the right thigh
  5. Press the right hand on the floor behind the right hip
  6. Keep the left arm outside the right thigh close to the knee
  7. Bring the front torso and right thigh closer to each other
  8. Press the right foot on the floor, release the right groin and straighten the front torso
  9. Lean back the upper torso slightly
  10. Turn your head either left or right with the twist of the torso in either direction
  11. Inhale and exhale and twist the torso a little more
  12. Stay for a minute or two. Then, release with an exhalation and go back to the starting posture
  13. Repeat the same procedure with the left side.

Matsyendrasana performed by Baba Ramdev


You must avoid this asana or perform it under the supervision of a yoga instructor if you have any of the following problems:

  • Back or spine related problems
  • Pregnancy or menstruation
  • Surgeries in the abdomen, heart or brain
  • Peptic ulcers or hernia problems
  • Slipped disc issues

Make sure your back is straight. Don’t try to slouch or slump as it can cause internal problems.

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Variations in Matsyendrasana

Depending on the human body's health, Matsyendrasana can be performed in varied poses. The most popular ones are here:

Ardha Matsyendrasana |||

Ardha Matsyendrasana |||

1. Ardha Matsyendrasana |||

Staying in Ardha Matsyendrasana posture, move the bottom leg in Padmasana and bind the arms by holding either foot.

Supta Matsyendrasana

Supta Matsyendrasana

2. Supta Matsyendrasana

This asana is done in a leaning position. Stretch the arms at the shoulder level, bend either of the knees and rotate it and the hips to the opposite side.

Jathara Parivartanasana

Jathara Parivartanasana

3. Jathara Parivartanasana

The asana is similar to Supta Matsyendrasana. In this, straight legs are lowered to one side. The opposite shoulder rests on the ground. Then, the knees are bent and rotated to one side. The legs can be straightened afterward.



4. Marichyasana

The asana is named after Rishi Marichi, the mind-born son of Lord Brahma. The asana starts from Ardha Matsyendrasana. The arms are clasped at the back and around one of the raised knees. Then, the upper body leans forwards till the nose touches the straight leg. There are many more variations of Marichyasana up to four.

Matsyendrasana and Anahata, the Heart Chakra

Performing basic yoga can help you open your lower three chakras. These chakras are relatively easier to open than the highest threes. The fourth one, Anahata chakra, is a bridge between these lowest and highest spiral energies.

Matsyendrasna can help you open this bridge and help you realize the higher realm of your self-awareness.

This realization doesn’t happen in an instant. You need to be disciplined and regularly follow this asana.

Points to Remember

  • Take precautions, if you are injured or have undergone surgery.
  • Always use a mat.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Focus on your breathing.

Start now and enjoy the outcomes!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Prachi Sharma

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