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Fish Yoga Pose – Matsyasana

Fish Pose or Matsyasana

Matsyasana

[mot-see-AHS-anna]

Matsya means fish. When performing fish pose in water, the body is able to float easily (just like a fish). According to yogic legend, Matsyendra (King of fish) was a yogi who learned the mysteries of hatha yoga by listening to Shiva and established the Natha Siddha (Lord of superhuman powers) tradition.

Benefits of Jathara Parivartanasana

  • Teaches us to distribute our weight evenly throughout our body.
  • Teaches us to create space between the hips and the rib cage.
  • Strengthens the gluteal, hamstring and lower back muscles.

Contraindications

  • Modifications might be necessary for those who suffer from back pain.
  • Proceed with caution if you suffer from hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, neck or shoulder pain.
  • Avoid if you have suffered from heart disease or stroke as extending the neck is risky if the veins in the neck are fragile from plaque buildup.

Step-by-Step

  • Start by lying on your back and engaging your Bandhas.
  • Lengthen your spine from the crown of your head to your tailbone.
  • Lift your hips and place your hands under your gluteal muscles with your palms facing down.
  • Straighten your legs. Press down with your forearms and palms.
  • Lift your sternum and lengthen the front of the neck, bringing the spot at the back of the Parietal bone (base of the part in your hair) to rest on the mat.
  • Engage Mulabandha and Uddiyanabandha to protect your lower back.
  • Contract the rectus abdominis slightly so the internal organs press against the spine and support the spine from the front.
  • Press your forearms down so that there is no pressure on the head and neck.
  • Make sure the neck is long with a nice even arc.
  • Extend through your legs, creating a firm foundation for the pose.
  • Inhale as you lift your breastbone to the sky.
  • Feel a long arc of energy throughout your spine and distribute your weight evenly along it.
  • Feel grounding, earth energy coming up through your feet, calves and legs and into your torso.
  • Distribute the weight throughout body so that there is a perfect balance between the weight on your legs and feet and the weight on your forearms.
  • Ensure that your neck is soft and open.
  • Exhale as you slowly lower your spine onto the mat and bring the knees to the chest.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses

fish pose hands on adjustment