The Health Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

By CNY Healing Arts Published on

This pose in usually practiced with the yogi’s legs in Padmasana (Lotus Pose), but that is beyond the ability of most beginners. In this modified version of Fish Pose, the legs are kept straight throughout.

To practice this asana with a licensed yoga instructor, check out the yoga class schedule for each location of CNY Healing Arts (Rochester, Albany, Syracuse).

Getting Into Fish Pose:

Roll out your yoga mat and lie down flat on your back – knees straight, legs and feet together. Slide your hands beneath your thighs, palms downward, so that you are sitting on them. Keep your elbows and forearms tucked in close to the sides of your torso, pressing them firmly against the floor.

Inhale and lift your chest and head away from the floor; arch your chest until you are sitting halfway up. Then, release your head back onto the floor. Be sure to keep your legs straight and thighs active, reaching out through your heels.

You should support your weight on your forearms and elbows (absolutely not on your head). Either the back or top (crown) of your head will rest on the floor, depending on how high you arch your chest. It is important to lower your chest slightly toward the floor if you feel any pain or discomfort in your neck or throat.

As a beginner, hold posture for 3-6 steady, deep breaths. To release, exhale and gently lower your torso to the floor, activating your thighs and abdominals to do so.

Benefits of Fish Pose:

  • · Stretches your deep hip flexors and intercostals (muscles between the ribs)
  • · Relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders
  • · Stretches and tones the front of your neck and your abdominals
  • · Stretches and stimulates the organs of your belly and throat
  • · Strengthens your upper back and the back of your neck
  • · Relieves stress and irritation
  • · Improves posture
  • · Therapeutic for rounded-shoulders, asthma, spasms in the bronchial tubes, and other respiratory issues