Twisting postures cleanse and purify the body and help stabilize the spine.
By twisting and folding the digestive system, toxins and impurities contained within are removed. Deep twisting postures are often used in the Ashtanga Yoga system to literally twist into your center so that the core strength is actively engaged, helping the spine find stability after deep back bending.
Ardha Matsyendrasana helps reset the spine after the deep backbends of the Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga. It is not a resting or relaxation posture, instead the deep work contained within the twist equalizes the back muscles and neutralizes any stress placed on the intra-vertebral discs during the challenging back bending series of Ashtanga Yoga Second Series.
While weight loss by itself is not a stated purpose of the yoga path, deep twisting helps remove excess fatty tissue around the mid-section. These stuck places of energy of our body are often the place where the most obstacles lie. By moving deeply into twisting the energy flows more powerfully through these areas of leathery and dullness.
The increased energy flow is the true goal of the yoga practice so that when fully established in the Ashtanga Yoga method, the energy flows freely along the inner body and up the central axis, along the spinal cord. When practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana, align your intention with the deeper benefits of the practice and the posture will transform you.
Do not stop at the mere physical results, instead look for the subtle sensations to which the practice opens your mind.
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Ed: Sara Crolick