In this note, we will refer to Matsyasana, an asana in which the backbends backward. Known as the Fish Posture, it is said that the name of the posture is because, when performed in water. It allows one to float since it gives us an aerodynamic shape, especially when it is performed in its most complex variations. Read on to learn about all the benefits of Matsyasana, as well as the step-by-step guide and all our tips.
What is Matsyasana or fish pose?
The Fish Pose provides us with a host of physical benefits. It is particularly good for correcting postural problems. Such as shoulder shrugging and releasing accumulated tension in that area or neck. Matsyasana is, in short, an excellent posture to stretch the cervical and dorsal region of the spine. That is why it is usually done in contrast to Salamba Sarvangasana since it neutralizes the neck and spine position. This sequence is common, especially in the Ashtanga Vinyasa series.
This asana also has a therapeutic effect for people with respiratory problems, such as asthma. Allowing a greater opening of the chest and rib cage favors deep breathing, increasing lung capacity over time.
Another explanation behind the name states that, just as a fish cleans a pond by eating. It makes the water dirty, so this asana purifies our blood, cleansing the body. Also, many claims that Matsyasana helps regulate the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
From a more energetic and spiritual point of view, when performing the Fish Pose. We raise the chest, opening the heart chakra, and direct our vital energy to the neck and shoulder area.
Matsyasana step by step:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor, arms at the sides of your body, palms down.
With an inhale, lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and slide your hands until they are under your buttocks. Then lower your pelvis back so that your buttocks rest on the back of your hands. Do not lose this connection at any time while performing the pose.
Check the position of your arms. Make sure to bring your elbows close to the sides of your body.
Inhale and plant your elbows and forearms firmly on your mat. Elevate your upper torso.
Depending on the depth with which you can perform the asana, the lower part of the top of the head remains resting on the ground. However, it should support the least amount of weight possible. Make sure you are not compressing the cervical vertebrae.
Once you have found stability in this step, you can extend your legs. It is recommended to do it one at a time. Once both legs are straight, press from the heels to keep them active.
Hold the pose for about five breaths.
To get out of the posture, with an exhale, press the forearms against the ground. Then, raise the heat a little to return to accommodate it in a resting position.
Helps relax the chest and intercostal muscles. Energizes and relieves fatigue. It stimulates the organs of the digestive system and helps to regulate constipation. Improve the quality of your breathing. It is therapeutic for cases of respiratory problems.
Tips for beginners
It is very common for beginning practitioners to compress the neck when performing this pose, and they may even feel pain in the throat area. To avoid this, if you feel discomfort, you should only lower your chest a little. The curvature of your back is not so intense, or place a folded blanket under your back. Make sure the head is resting on the floor.
There are variations of Matsyasana that make it a more challenging pose:
To exercise your abdominal muscles, perform the asana by raising your legs to a 45-degree angle. If you have already managed to perform the posture as explained above, you can remove your hands from below your buttocks. Bring them together in Anjali Mudra, extending your arms towards the sky. Finally, the most complex variation is to perform the Fish Pose with the legs in Padmasana (Lotus Pose). This requires perfect mastery of both postures and can be challenging even for fairly experienced yogis.