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Matsya – Fish; Asana – Pose

This asana is pronounced as maht-see-yah-sa-na. The Sanskrit word matsya means fish, theref ore this the fish posture. Matsya (depicted to the left) is a divine being, found in Hindu mythology, that saved mankind from a universal flood.

How to do Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

1. Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.  

2. Keeping the buttocks on the floor, inhale and raise the head, shoulders, back and  upper arms off the floor arching the back and raising the chest up. Tilt the head back  and place the top of the head flat on the floor.  

3. Raise the elbows off the floor bring your hands up just below the chest and join them  at the palms with the fingers pointing straight up (form the anjali-mudra or salutation  hand gesture). Hold for the duration of the inhale breath or breath gently through the  nostrils to remain in the posture longer.  

4. Return to the shava-asana.

Duration/Repetitions: Since this is not a difficult posture, it is recommended that you breath while holding it for between two  and four minutes. If you are uncomfortable breathing, hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath. Repeat two or three times. 

Benefits of the Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

  • Stretches the chest and neck
  • Helps relieve tension in the neck and shoulders
  • Provides relief from respiratory disorders by encouraging deep breathing
  • Tones the parathyroid, pituitary and pineal glands

Contraindications of the Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Avoid this posture if you have high or low blood pressure. Migraine and insomnia patients should also refrain from doing the Fish Pose. Those who have had serious lower-back or neck injuries are strongly recommended not to practice this pose.

All Yoga Poses
Previous yoga pose: Matsyasana
Next yoga pose: Pawanmuktasana

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