Ardis Matsyendra, or the asymmetrical facilitated whale/ fish pose or back bend.
SomaVeda™ Seated Position:
We normally teach this therapeutic position in the Fundamentals of Thai Yoga and Thai Massage Level One course as part of the full Level One seated Vinyasana or flow.
The client starts in Padmasana and the therapists is in Virasana at right angles behind the client. This Yoga bridge emphasis one side of the spine more than the other . This allows the asymmetrical emphasis to address a one sided imbalance more specifically. can be done with the hands in the low position when the client is restricted or with the hands extended for full emphasis. Back bends are considered one of the most important of Yoga asana and generally have the following benefits: Release and extension of the anterior spinal muscles.
The posterior range of motion counterbalances head forward postures both in practice and pathological such as inclinations to “Red Light” or emotionally guarding postures. Red Light postures are guarding postures which are like the “Turtle” i.e. head forward and down, chin down, shoulders up and forward, chest sunken or back and pronounced curve or mid shoulder arch. We say that individuals with the Red Light posture are guarding or protecting the heart, heart chakra and or throat and may have history or issues of emotional and or physical abuse as well as issues with communication and expression of being who they are.
In practice if we do forward bends we always want to include back bends as counter poses. Because the client is actually bending over our thighs we can actually feel in real time the spinal segments from sacrum to head including spinal, thoracic and cervical vertebrae which are not responding. These locked or unresponsive spinal segments could indicate many issues such as actual spinal damage, spinal lesions and scar tissue to areas relating to emotional guarding and issues.
This posture presents all of the primary chakra and energy lines: Sen lines, especially Sen Sumana or Sushumna to view and consciousness and available for attention and pressure. The therapists legs are bring energy attention, consciousness breath and pressure to the posterior lines: Sen Ittha, Pinghala and both anterior and posterior meridians such as conception vessel, governing vessal and Bladder meridian. The psoas / diaphrammatic complex from knee to thorax is activated and accessible. The rib cage is open and in and extended position. The lower part creates abdominal space encouraging circulation for the various abdominal organs and is a good opportunity to actually do an abdominal focus and the entire position facilitates the flow of prana from neck to groin. This posture coupled with Pranayama or deep breathing is nothing less than amazing.
Because the bridge is fully supported with the client passive, the normal antagonistic muscular reflexes and control mechanisms common to almost all back bends are reduced or not present. At the top there is good potential for a safe release of the neck affecting both posterior and anterior cervical structures and there is little o no risk of hyper-extension of spinal or cervical structures.
Once in the position hold it until the client completely releases all holding and tension and literally collapses into the support. Rocking while holding works great and should be done before and after any specific point or line work.
Come learn this position in person by attending one of our Certified Thai Yoga Practitioner programs at the Thai Yoga Center in Plant City. Click here for CTP details!