The world is advancing at rapid speeds, and at a blink of an eye there are so many changes. To keep up with the pace, we tend to ignore the health conditions of our body. Most of us are now couch potatoes, ironically. This leads to a host of ailments and maladies; some of them when ignored can paralyse the body and mind, or can be fatal too. Thanks to the art and science of yoga, one now can learn a host of asanas to help the body stay fit and fine, in the long run. To day we are here to explain one of the best yoga asanas which is Matsyasana yoga (fish pose) that has lots of health benefits.
Learn About Matsyasana Yoga (Fish Pose):
The term “matsya” in Sanskrit means fish. Therefore, like the name goes the person performing the asana looks just like a fish. The pose in its simplest form expects you to lie on your back with an arched chest. The asana is known to have a lot of benefits for various parts of the body. The asana is mostly done in Padmasana, but is still done in a simple way with the legs stretched out.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose) Yoga, Steps, Benefits, Modifications And Precautions:
This article explain what are the step by step instructions of matsyasana yoga, benefits, modifications and precautions along with variation images and what are the tips for beginners to perform with ease and simplicity.
Matsyasana Yoga Steps:
Matsyasana is traditionally performed with legs in the padmasana. Performing this asana, from a padmasana is slightly difficult and hence a simpler one would be better to perform.
- Start by lying on your back, on the floor with your knees bent and feet touching the floor.
- Now inhaling, gently lift your pelvis off the floor, sliding your hands below your buttocks, with the palms facing downwards.
- Rest your buttocks on the back of your hands. Do not lift your buttocks off your hands, till the completion of this pose.
- While in this position, ensure that the forearms and elbows are close to the sides of your torso.
- Press your elbows and forearms firmly against the floor. Inhale while doing this.
- Then now, also press your shoulder blades into your back.
- Inhaling again, lift your head and upper torso away from the ground. Now bring your head down to the floor. Depending on the arch of your back, the back of your head or the crown alone would rest on the floor. While doing so avoid excessive weight on your head, as it may crunch your neck.
- You may either choose to straighten your legs on the floor or keep your knees bent. In case you do the former, ensure that your thighs are active and also that your legs are pressed out till the heels.
- Remain in this position for at least 15-30 seconds. And then gently lower your chest and head and bring your thighs into your belly and squeeze.
See More: Dhanurasana Benefits
Physical Benefits Of Matsyasana Yoga (Fish Pose):
1. The asana helps to open the abdominal muscles and the neck muscles.
2. Fish pose relieves the body’s thoracic and mid back spinal tension.
3. The back musculature and the muscles in the neck and strengthened.
4. It also stimulates the organs in the abdomen and throat.
5. Matsyasana yoga aids in stretching the intercostals muscles between the ribs, upper portion of psoas muscles in the hips and intercostals muscles between the ribs.
6. It helps to stretch and stimulate the organs and muscles of the belly and the throat.
7. On regular practice, the asana helps to improve posture as well.
Therapeutic Benefits Of Fish Pose:
Matsyasana is known to be the “destroyer of all diseases”. People who suffer from the following conditions are known to benefit from this asana:
- Fatigue, anxiety and stress
- Menstrual discomforts
- Respiratory problems
See More: Benefits Of Paschimottanasana
See More: How To Do Tadasana
Matsyasana Yoga Modifications:
1. If you would like to reduce the work on you spinal muscles, you can place a bolster or a rolled up blanket perpendicular to your spine. Place the bolster below the shoulder blades and gently lay back on it. This would allow the head to come in soft contact to the floor.
2. You may sometimes experience strain in the neck while doing this asana. In that case, it is better to shift your weight more to your hips and forearms. Increase the length of your spine forming a bigger back bend.
3. You may place a bolster or blanket under your head, almost closer to the base of your skull, if you want to experience better strength of the back bend without straining the neck. Do this before performing the pose, and let your head rest on the prop than on the ground.
4. Do not take the help of the prop for a longer time, as it must be used only to get deeper into this asana.
5. Also the asana is considered to give better benefits if done with legs in padmasana. An almost closer option is to lift the legs off the floor to almost 45 degrees in relation to the floor.
Precautions For Matsyasana Yoga:
The asana is suited for people with certain conditions like:
- High blood pressure which is beyond control levels
- Lower back problems (however people with this condition may perform this asana using bolsters and keeping the knees bent.)
- Neck problems (even in this case it still can be done with the help of a bolster. But consulting an expert before that is advisable)
- Low blood pressure – since it is likely to induce dizziness, after completion
Tips For Starters:
Beginners may sometimes strain their neck while doing this pose. If you experience strain while doing this pose, lower your chest slightly to the ground or as stated earlier, use a prop like a bolster or a rolled up blanket.
Preparatory And Follow-up Poses:
The preparatory poses that would aid in performing matsyasana would be Baddha Konasana, virasana, Bhujangasana, sputa virasana, dhanurasana The follow up poses would be sputa virasana, setu bandha sarvangasana, gomukhasana.
Some General Benefits of Matsyasana or The Fish Pose:
Among the best matsyasana yoga or fish pose benefits are the facts that it keeps focusing on the thyroid and parathyroid glands which in turn also helps in blood circulation. It is known that with the regular practise of this asana the body prevents blood to reach the legs and thus increases the flow towards the reproductive and pelvic organs where it is needed more. Also the problems of stagnant blood and less movement of it is cured with the perfect practise of this yoga posture. The Jalandhara Bandha is another yogic posture which can be practised to counter balance the main posture. The practise of matsyasana yoga also enhances blood flow to the brain and face thus making your skin glow and your brain functions better as well.
The practise of matsyasana steps is very good for the reproductive system too. This is why women should practice this posture even though they might find it quite difficult in the beginning. The strength of the mind and lot of concentration can be the keys to such beneficial yogic postures. This posture also helps in the toning of the thighs, intercostals muscles as well as the abdominal part of the body. Intercostal muscles need a lot of toning and perfection because it helps in proper breathing which in turn is very good for asthma and bronchitis. It opens up all the blockages of the lungs and the chest over all.
Hemorrhoids increase blood flow to the back and this helps in back aches and all sorts of cervical spondylitis and other such spinal ailments. This same matsyasana or fish pose has a lot of good effects on the thymus parts and thus serves greatly for the improvement of the overall immune system of a person. It also helps in loosening the spine and thus prevents round shoulders. You can do this asana before doing meditation because the practice of this also loosens the muscles of your legs which further help in meditation.
Benefits In A Summed Up Version:
Practicing the matsyasana yoga or fish pose is especially helpful for women because as discussed earlier the blood circulation is balanced and more blood is regulated to the pelvic and reproductive organs which are essential parts of a woman not only for giving birth but for their bodies as well. Other than that practicing this pose also helps to recover from other ailments and problems such as asthma, bronchitis, cervical spondylitis, haemorrhoids and back pains too.
Releasing The Position:
Just like it is important to know how to hold the pose and how to get into the perfect posture, it is equally important to know how to release the posture and how to breathe during the time. The first part has already been discussed above. In this section we are talking about the release position. This is because a hasty release may result in dangerous nerve problems as well as pains and strains. To release this pose, it is best to first release your toes with the help of your elbows. After this you can release your neck and then return your head to the original position from where you started. Take a little time and again return to the supine position. Follow the practise of matsyasana steps with savasana and chakrasana.
This is one of the advanced postures of yoga and it has had a lot many variations from the ancient periods itself. We now know the benefits of matsyasana and so each one of us should now practise this regularly.