Matsyendrasana (Spine Twist-Full Pose)
Those who have practised Ardha Matsyendrasana for some time are ready for taking up this full pose. The full pose is a little more difficult than the half pose. The late Sri Madhavadasji Maharaj of Malsar (Gujarat), a famous Hatha Yogi, used to teach his students this pose straightaway. This Asana derives its name from the Rishi Matsyendra.
Sit erect with legs stretched. Place the left foot on the joint of the right thigh forcibly with both your hands and fix the heel of the left foot at the navel. Let the right leg touch the ground by the side of your left knee. Place the left hand outside the right knee and press the knee to the left side. Get hold of the right toe with the fingers (thumb, index and middle fingers) of the left hand. The right foot should remain firm. Turn the right hand towards the back and catch hold of the left heel. The face and body are turned back towards the right side. Twist the spine. Gaze at the tip of the nose. Breathe slowly. Retain the pose for 20 seconds. You can keep it for 2 or 3 minutes also by gradual practice. Repeat the process several times. The technique appears to be difficult. If you give careful attention and think with concentration, then it is very clear and easy. Or see once when your friend does this Asana.
This should be practised both by the right side and left side by turns. Then only maximum benefits of the Asana will be derived. First do the half pose for 2 or 3 weeks and then attempt this. Then the muscles and joints will be more elastic and flexible. If you find it difficult to keep up your balance, instead of turning your hand towards the back, you can keep the palm on the ground. This will give you good support, and would make matters easy. Slowly you can take the hand away and turn it towards the back.
The advantages that are derived from the half pose will be derived in this full pose to a great extent. The synovial fluid of the joints increases and the joints become very active. All the adhesions in the joints that are caused by rheumatism are removed. It bestows beautiful health. It augments the Prana Sakti (vigour and vitality) and consequently removes innumerable diseases. The pressure of the heel on the navel forces blood towards the back which nourishes well all the nerves of the back, particularly the Prana Nadis of the back. It awakens the Kundalini and brings peace of mind. Hail! Hail! the Yogi Matsyendra who first introduced this Asana amongst the Hatha Yogic students. Om Namah Parama Rishibhyah-Prostrations to the Rishis!