Ardha Matsyendrasana: December Yoga Pose of the Month

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Lengthens the spine and opens hips while strengthening core

Half Lord of the Fishes (Sanskrit: Ardha Matsyendrasana)

  • Sit on the floor with your legs lengthened (Staff pose). Place your feet on the floor with knees bent and pointed towards ceiling/sky. Slide your right foot under your left leg to the outside of your left hip. Your right knee is pointing towards the front, center of your mat. Step the left foot over the right leg with your left foot on the mat by your right hip. The left knee is pointed up towards the ceiling and the left foot is rooted with all four corners into the mat.
  • Sit tall lengthening your spine. You may sit on a folded blanket. Place your left fingertips behind left hip. Reach your right arm up while taking a deep breath in. On the exhale, twist at the waist to the left. Take your right arm on top of your left leg right above the knee and lengthen arm while keeping the shoulder down. You may also bend arm in a V shape. As you inhale, lengthen the spine and as you exhale, twist a little more. Honor the body and breathe deeply. Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side. Your gaze can be wherever you feel is comfortable for your neck.
  • Option: You may keep bottom leg lengthened (Lord of the Fishes)

Namaste – The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you

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About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, MA, MCHES, E-RYT, CWHC, CYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty years. As a chemist, she conducted research which brought her into the mindset of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate about all things wellness. She enjoys collaborating with team members, teaching, presenting and nurturing healthy lifestyle changes. She believes that every day is a learning opportunity and creates opportunities that reflect active learning, being curious and forward thinking. Celeste is a published author, the wife of a fun-loving husband, mother of a college freshman, "professional" front porch meditator and loves to play in the dirt . She is a nationally Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC), Certified Yin-Yang Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). She has also received advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and additional trainings with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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