Yoga Pose Breakdown: Matsyasana - Fish Pose

Sanskrit Name: 
Matsyasana (mot-see-AHS-anna)
Matsya = Fish
Asana = Pose

Get Started: 

  • Begin by lying on your back on floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor
  • Lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and slide your hands (with your palms down) under your buttocks
  • Rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands 
  • Tuck your forearms and elbows up close to the sides of your torso
  • Continue to press your forearms and elbows into the floor as you press your scapulas into your back and lift your upper torso and head off the floor
  • Place the back of your head or crown into the floor, opening your throat. Option to place a block under your heart
  • Avoid crunching your neck
  • Option to keep your knees bent or straighten your legs, if you straighten keep your thighs active and press through your heels

Benefits: This pose stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas) and the intercostal muscles between the ribs. It also stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and the front of the neck. It stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat, strengthens the muscles of the upper back and the back of the neck and it also improves posture. 

Contradictions: Practice with caution if you have high or low blood pressure, a migraine, insomnia or a serious lower-back or neck injury.

Know Your Asana: According to a traditional text, Matsyasana is the “destroyer of all diseases.”

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