THE HALF SPINAL TWIST: ARDHA-MATSYENDRĀSANA
This is half a pose. After the forward and backward bending of the spine, the Half Spinal Twist gives a lateral stretch to all the vertebrae, back muscles and hips. The lumbar area does not twist easily; you will mostly rotate the cervical and thoracic areas of your spine. Keeping your chest open and your neck straight is the best basis for a good twist.
• Helps keep the spine elastic by retaining its side-to-side mobility. Each vertebra is rotated in both directions.
• The ligaments attached to the spine receive a rich supply of blood.
• This lateral stretching helps to relieve lumbago (general lower back pain) and muscular rheumatism of the back and hips. It also helps to dissolve adhesions in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
• The synovial fluid of the joints increases & the joints become more active.
• The roots of the spinal nerves & the sympathetic nervous system are toned and given a fresh supply of blood.
• Abdominal muscles are massaged. The large intestine in particular is stimulated.
• This helps to relieve constipation, dyspepsia (indigestion) and other digestive problems. Toxins in the digestive system are released.
• The Spinal Twist increases appetite and digestive powers by stimulating the gastric juices.
• There is a beneficial effect on the gall bladder, spleen, kidneys, liver and intestines.