How to do Fish Pose Yoga or Matsyasana:
Fish pose yoga also known as Matsyasana is a modern yoga exercise that involves bending on your back while reclining. It was described in the medieval period in the 17th century. Generally, when doing the fish pose, you lie on your back and lift your chest up while pressing on the floor with elbows and then draw your shoulders back.
In this pose, the neck is elongated as the head crown is facing the wall behind you. With more practice, the back arch deepens as the throat and the heart opens wider. The top of the head may touch the floor, but make sure that there is no weight resting on the head.
The first step is to lie down on the floor on your back while the feet soles on the floor and the knees bent. Breath deeply and softly and then raise your pelvis just above the floor. With the palms facing down to the floor, slide the hands below the buttocks and rest the buttocks on the hands. Make sure you maintain this position all through.
Press the elbow together with the forearms to the floor and raise your chest leaving a space in the upper back. Raise your shoulder blades as well as the torso from the floor. Slowly tilt your head back and touch the floor with your head crown. Make sure that there is a minimal amount of weight on the head to avoid neck problems.
This step involves straightening your legs while you keep your thighs active. Press outward via the heels.
Keep this pose for 15 to 30 seconds while breathing softly. Then during exhalation, lower your head together with the torso to the floor. Then move the thighs up into your stomach and the knees onto the chest for some seconds. Straighten your legs and rest while breathing softly.
Benefits of Fish Pose Yoga (Matsyasana)
- It helps in stretching the intercostal muscles as well as the deep hip flexors.
- It helps stimulate and stretch the belly muscles and the front neck muscles.
- It strengthens the upper back muscles as well as the back neck muscles.
- It helps improve posture.
- It is referred to as the destroyer of all diseases.
- It helps regain the spinal strength as well as general body balance.
- It helps open up the lungs that aid in improving breathing as well as relieving the respiratory ailment.
Safety and Precautions for Fish Pose Yoga (Matsyasana)
- People suffering from migraines, blood pressure, or insomnia should not practice the fish pose.
- People with lower back or neck injuries should also avoid it.
- In case of any medical issue, you should consult your doctor before practicing the fish yoga.
- Always work within your limits, do not overdo.
Modifications and variation for Fish Pose Yoga (Matsyasana)
- The legs can either be straight on the floor or the knees bent while the feet lie on the floor.
- For a challenging modification, the legs can be kept straight and lifted from the floor.
- For a challenge, the hands can be placed on top of the chest.
- To reduce strain, you can use a bolster to support the back and a cushion under the knees.