Fish Pose (Matsyasana) : How to Do IT, Benefits & Precautions

Fish Pose, also known as Matsyasana in Sanskrit, is a yoga posture that stretches the front of the body, including the chest, throat, and hip flexors. Fish Pose is often practiced as a counterpose to postures that involve rounding the spine, such as forward folds. It can also help to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, improve posture, and stimulate the thyroid gland. Fish Pose is generally considered safe for most people, but those with neck or back injuries should approach it with caution and seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor.

Fish Pose, or Matsyasana in Sanskrit, has philosophical significance in the practice of yoga. In the philosophy of yoga, the body is seen as a reflection of the mind and the postures are interpreted as a means to connect with the deeper aspects of the self. Fish Pose is said to activate the heart chakra, which represents love, compassion, and the ability to connect with others. By opening the heart center, the posture can help cultivate these qualities within oneself.

Fish Pose is also believed to symbolize the story of Matsya, an incarnation of the god Vishnu, who saved the world from a great flood. In this story, Matsya takes the form of a fish and carries a boat of humans to safety. The posture is thus seen as a reminder of the power of the divine and the importance of helping others. By practicing Fish Pose, one can tap into this divine energy and cultivate a sense of compassion and service towards others.

How to do Fish Pose (Matsyasana)?

Fish Pose, or Matsyasana, is generally considered a safe yoga posture when performed correctly. However, it is important to approach the pose with caution and follow certain guidelines to ensure that it is done safely. Here are some steps to safely perform Fish Pose:

  1. Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides.
  2. Lift your chest and head off the ground, tilting your head back and bringing the crown of your head to the ground.
  3. Place your forearms and elbows on the ground, with your palms facing down.
  4. Press your forearms into the ground to lift your chest higher, keeping your hips grounded.
  5. If you feel comfortable, you can release your head back further, allowing your throat to open.

To come out of the pose, release your head and slowly lower your chest and head back to the ground.

Preparation for Fish Pose (Matsyasana

Here are several yoga postures you can practice as preparation for Fish Pose, or Matsyasana. Here are some examples:

  1. Sphinx Pose: Lie on your stomach with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your forearms on the ground. Lift your chest off the ground and roll your shoulders back, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  2. Cobra Pose: Lie on your stomach with your palms on the ground under your shoulders. Press into your hands to lift your chest off the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  3. Bridge Pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground, pressing your arms and shoulders into the ground to lift your chest.
  4. Shoulder Opener: Sit cross-legged and clasp your hands behind your back, straightening your arms and lifting your chest.

Benefits of Fish Pose (Matsyasana

Fish Pose, or Matsyasana in Sanskrit, has numerous physical and mental benefits. Here are some of the benefits of practicing Fish Pose:

  1. Stretches the chest, neck, shoulders, and hip flexors, promoting flexibility and improving posture.
  2. Stimulates the thyroid gland, which can help regulate metabolism.
  3. Relieves tension in the neck and shoulders, reducing the risk of headaches and migraines.
  4. Activates the heart chakra, promoting feelings of love, compassion, and connection with others.
  5. Improves respiratory function by opening up the chest and lungs.
  6. Reduces stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and calming the mind.
  7. Can help alleviate menstrual cramps and digestive issues.
  8. Can improve spinal flexibility and alleviate back pain.

Overall, Fish Pose can be a beneficial addition to your yoga practice, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting or hunched over a computer.

Precautions in Fish Pose (Matsyasana

  1. Avoid the pose if you have neck or back injuries or discomfort.
  2. If you have low blood pressure, come out of the pose slowly to avoid dizziness.
  3. Keep the weight of the pose on your forearms and not on your head or neck.
  4. Avoid straining the neck by keeping the gaze upward and avoiding turning the head to the side.
  5. Come out of the pose slowly and with control to avoid injuring the neck or back.
  6. Consult a qualified yoga instructor if you have any concerns or questions about performing the pose safely.

To get more information on how to safely move in and out of any posture, please join our upcoming Yoga Teacher training course in Rishikesh at Rishikesh Yogshala. Contact us to book your slot now!

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