A beautiful twisting pose named for the great fish Matsyendranath, who overheard the teachings of Yoga by Lord Shiva to Parvati and who after 12 years of contemplation reincarnated as one of the world’s greatest Yogis. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, when Ardha Matsyendrasana is practiced, the life force energy is "channelized" toward the navel center which activates the process of awakening knowledge of the Self.
In the practice of yoga, one can find that twisting aids in clearing out of toxins in the body, which leads to a clearing out of contaminants in the mind. A clarity of mind aids in the evolution of wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment. Working with twisting poses like Ardha Matsyendrasana helps to cultivate the patience and compassion to “see” the past and move into the future with awareness and wisdom. We release our gripping or holding of the past as negative thoughts/stories and toxins and grow into the next new moment with a sense of peace and celebration. The breath creates the rhythm for this patient exploration. Every inhale is an expansive, nourishing rising wave..... and every exhale is an invitation to release and soften into the gentle fall of the next wave.
"Wisdom leavens intelligence, and ennobles consciousness, and advances evolution itself" - Becoming Wise- An Inquiry into the Mystery of Living by Krista Tippet