After the forward and backward bending of the spine, the Half Spinal Twist gives a lateral stretch to all of the vertebrae, back muscles and hips. .
1. Sit with the legs together streched out in front of the body.
2. Bend the left knee and put the left foot flat on the floor on the outer side of the right knee.
3. Bring the left arm to the floor behind the back, close to the spine, directly below your left shoulder. Raise the right arm up. 4. Bring the right arm over the out side of the left knee. Catch hold of the left ankle. Look over the left shoulder. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the other side.
BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HALF SPINAL TWIST
1. Sit up on the heels.
2. Drop the hips to the floor on the right of the hips.
3. Place the left foot flat on the floor on the outside of the right knee.
4. Bring the left arm to the floor behind the spine, right under the shoulder. Reach with your right arm towards the ceiling.
5. Bring the right arm over the outside of the left knee. Reach around to catch hold of the left ankle. Look over the left shoulder. Beginners may hold the pose for 30 seconds, working up to one minute. Release the position and repeat on the other side.
• Hips are lifted off of the ground.
• The body leans on the back arm instead of being twisted. This compresses the spine rather than giving it a lateral twist.
• One shoulder is lower then the other.
• The arm is allowed to hang freely rather than clasping hold of the opposite ankle. If students are unable to hold the ankle, ask them to hold onto the knee or calf of the opposite leg.
• It is usually best for the teacher to stand behind the student when making corrections.
• Remember that the closer the foot of the bent knee is to the hip, the more advanced this position becomes. If the student is a beginner, unable to hold the ankle, often getting them to move the foot forward enables them to be able to do this pose correctly.
• The Spinal Twist helps to keep the spine elastic by retaining its side-to-side mobility. Each vertebra is rotated in both directions.
• The ligaments attached to the spine get this movement as well and so receive a rich supply of blood.
• This lateral stretching helps to relieve lumbago and muscular rheumatism of the back and hips. Adhesions in the joints caused by rheumatism are removed.
• The synovial fluid of the joints increases and the joints become very active.
• The roots of the spinal nerves and the sympathetic nervous system are toned and given a fresh supply of blood. This has the effect of:
- Increasing the heart rate and force of contraction
- Stimulating glucose release from the liver
- Stimulating the sweat glands (cleansing effect on the body)
- Circulation is speeded up
- There is an aerobic effect on the body
- Breathing becomes more rapid
• Abdominal muscles are massaged. The large intestine in particular is stimulated
• This helps to relieve constipation, dyspepsia and other digestive problems. Toxins in the digestive system are released.
• The Spinal Twist increases appetite and digestive powers by fanning the gastric juices.
• There is a beneficial effect on the gall bladder, spleen, kidneys, liver and bowels.
• This asana helps to cure nervous disorders.
• Ardha Matsyendrasana helps to bring peace of mind.