• Releases intervertebral muscles
  • Aids digestion and elimination
  • Releases tension in and around diaphragm
  • Safe twist for low-back issues
  • Twists help us see different perspectives
  • Gives the opportunity to release feelings of fear and lack of control stored in the intervertebral muscles

Questions about this pose?

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Prep Poses:



While not contraindicated for the condition, go easy with an unstable Sacro-Illiac joint

Pregnancy (it can be done, but go GENTLY)


Matsyangasana is the ultimate open twist and one of the few twists that addresses all parts of the spine as well as the hips and shoulders.


Start in Baddha Konsana, with the feet together and the knees apart. Take the right leg into Virasana with the right toes pointing back and the right femur (thigh) bone pointing straight ahead and parallel to the long edge of your mat. Line your left toes up with the right knee.


Take both hands behind you to the left, behind your left thigh. Lift your right hip up to bring your right buttock off the floor. Tuck your outer left hip underneath you towards your right knee. Walk the hands to the left any amount more while keeping your torso centered between your straight arms.


Inhaling, lift the bottom of the belly, lengthen the side waists, and press the right knee into the floor. Exhaling, press down into the hands and twist the spine, moving the right hip towards the left knee.


Work the rhythm of the twist: inhaling, lift; exhaling, twist. Keep your arms straight and as you exhale and twist, lift the left shoulder up and drop the right one down. Hold for three breaths.


Inhaling, release from the twist and walk the hands back around to the front to come out of the pose. Bring the legs back into Baddha Konasana.


Change sides. Repeat the pose on both sides as many times as you like. Work with feeling not force to twist the entire spine, not just the parts that like to twist easily.