|Yoga Asana Guide|
Fish - Matsyasana
To derive maximum benefit, the Fish
should follow after the Shoulderstand and Half Bridge. It relieves
congestion and cramp which may have been caused by the Shoulderstand. As a counter-pose to the
Shoulderstand, the Fish gives a backward stretch to the cervical and thoracic regions of the spine. The chest
is thrown wide open; deep breathing is encouraged and enhanced.
The Fish Pose gets its name because it is easy to float in water when in the advanced (Fish in Lotus)
variation. This is because the posture releases the inhibitions on the lungs thus allowing them a greater
capacity to fill with air.
1. Lie flat on your back, legs and feet
together. Place your hands under your hips,
palms facing downwards.
2. Bend the elbows, push them in the ground
and lift your chest up, weight on the elbows.
Look towards your feet.
3. Drop the head back so that top of the head
rests on the ground with the chest expanded.
The head should be slightly touching the
floor, but the weight is on the elbows only.
Beginners, try to hold the position for at least 15 seconds, half of the time that you hold the Shoulderstand.
4. Keep your feet, legs and face relaxed. Distribute your
weight, equally on the buttocks and elbows. Arch the chest
as high as possible. Breathe as deeply as possible, taking
advantage of the fact that the chest is thrown wide open.
Expand the ribcage, using it to breathe fully with each
breath. Do not force the breath. Gradually increase the time
you are holding the Fish, until it is approximately 1 1/2
5. To come down, lift the head slightly, lower
the back to the ground and relax in the
Corpse Pose. After coming out of the Fish,
shake out the shoulders to remove any
tension from them that might remain. Slowly
roll the head from side to side once or twice,
and then bring the head back to centre.
• The Fish removes stiffness from the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, bringing an increase of blood
supply to these parts.
• A natural massage is given to the shoulders and neck.
• Round-shoulders are corrected.
• In the Fish, the chest is thrown wide open, so deep breathing may easily be practiced. This will:
- Increase lung capacity.
- Relieve spasm in the bronchia tubes.
- Relieve asthma.
• The cervical and upper dorsal nerves are nourished and toned with an increased supply of blood.
• While in the Fish Pose, the energy of the body is focused on the parathyroid glands. These are four small
endocrine glands embedded in the thyroid tissue in the neck. The function of the parathyroid glands is to
regulate calcium levels in the blood and absorption by the body. This is critically important in relation to:
- Contraction of all muscles including the heart.
- Clotting of blood.
- Bone strength, plasticity and brittleness.
- Prevention of tooth decay.
• The pituitary and pineal glands, located in the brain, are stimulated and toned. The pituitary is considered
to be the 'master gland' because it regulates secretion of all other endocrine glands. However, this gland is
itself controlled by the brain and mediates the effects of the central nervous system on hormonal activity in
• Moods, emotions and stress are regulated.