Matsyasana, Fish Pose
How to perform Matsyasana
Lie in Samasthiti on the floor. Now bend your knees and bring your legs and feet into Padmasana. Lay your legs back down to the floor while you keep your back on the floor, too.
Press your elbows, lower arms and hands to the floor and raise your torso up so that you can place the crown of your head on the floor. This enables you to see behind you.
Now bring your arms in front of your chest into the Namaste position. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.
To come out of the pose, first place your hands and elbows on the floor and then slowly lift your head, lay your back down on the floor and in the end stretch your legs again.
This is how the traditional Matsyasana is explained in the scriptures, but there are modifications that can be done to make it easier.
If you cannot perform Padmasana, you can also keep your legs straight. Or you could perform Padmasana as much you can, for example cross your legs.
If you feel too much pressure on your head when its crown is on the floor and your hands up in front of your chest, you can also keep your hands on the floor.
Do not however place your hands under your hips. If you do, you put the complete weight and work of this exercise to your arms, which is not its purpose.
Benefits of Matsyasana
This yoga pose directly works with your complete back, from your neck down to your hips. You bring movement into your spine and shoulders which improves your posture and which can reduce back pain. You stretch your neck muscles and your back muscles in a way that you don’t do in your daily routine.
Matsyasana does not only work with your back but also with your front. Your abdominal muscles get a good stretch and you thus give room to your abdominal organs and intestines. By this movement you can even help constipation problems.
Women can do this yoga pose in order to relieve menstrual pain. Matsyasana strengthens the muscles around your reproductive organs and increases the blood flow. This helps to increase fertility of men and women.
At the same time, your respiratory system is getting stretched and you thus help your body to take in more oxygen. If you suffer from Asthma, this pose can give you relieve, as it opens the lungs and increases their capacity.
The whole area is stimulated and thus the thyroid gland and your pineal and adrenal glands are activated, too.
You open your chest when you are in this pose and blood is pumped properly through the body.
Additionally you tone and strengthen your pelvic area and flex your hips, especially when doing it in Padmasana.
Through the enhanced blood flow to the head and brain, fatigue, tiredness and the feeling of being lazy can vanish through this pose. You get new energy!
Focus on the bend of your back and feel the stretch.
Tips and Help
You should always respect your limits and never cross them. When you start Matsyasana, try to do it right away in the complete way or as close to it as possible. Then your body gets used to practicing the right pose from the beginning.
If you have a weak neck, you can also use a blanket under your neck.