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, ND, MA, MCHES, CWHC, E-RYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, 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 in her position overseeing Wellness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author, wife and mother and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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