Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Pose for the Month - Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Fish Pose (Matsyasana) is my pose for the month of May.

The Fish pose expands the chest to facilitate deep breathing for better oxygen delivery to all tissues, enhances the functioning of organs in the abdomen and pelvis through the stretching of the mid-trunk and through a gentle internal massage, stimulates the thymus gland and so contribute to the competence of the immune system and useful in counteracting constipation.

Doing the Fish pose also relieves the stiffness of your neck and shoulder muscles and corrects any tendency of having rounded shoulders.

1. Lie on your back with legs stretched out in front and your arms at your sides. Relax your jaw and breathe regularly.

2. Bend your arms and press on your elbows to help you to raise your chest and arch your back.

3. Very carefully stretch your neck and ease your head towards your shoulders. Gently rest the top of your head on the mat. (Take most of the weight on your bottom and elbows, not on your head).

4. Hold this posture for a few seconds to start with; longer as you become more comfortable with it. Breathe slowly, smoothly and as deeply as you can without straining.

5. Very carefully ease yourself out of the position to resume your starting position. Rest.

The Knee Hug is a good posture to do following the fish pose.

Some points to note:

1.The fish pose should be practiced after plough pose and shoulder stand, as a counter-balance pose.

2.You should remain in this pose for at least half the amount of time you spent in the shoulder stand in order to balance the stretch.

3.Beginners sometimes strain their neck in this pose. If you feel any discomfort in your neck or throat, either lower your chest slightly toward the floor, or put a thickly folded blanket under the back of your head.

4.The back bending position in Matsyasana can be difficult for beginning students. Be sure your head rests lightly on the floor and your throat is soft.


1. To increase the challenge in this pose, slide your hands out from underneath your buttocks and bring them into Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal) with arms and legs outstretched and fingertips pointing toward the ceiling.

2. Try this variation if you are flexible enough. In the Easy Pose, clasp your toes. Lie back, arch up, and rest your buttocks on your heels. Lay the top of your head on the floor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love fish pose. It’s great toward the end of the good practice. My yoga instructor, Leeann Carey says that it is one of the best stretches. She has a free yoga video on dancer that you should really check out: