What is Matsyasana (Fish Pose)?
Matsyasana or fish pose is a yogic pose that stretches your abdomen, neck, and throat. Matsyasana is a yogic pose derived from Sanskrit word ‘matsya’ meaning ‘Fish’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’. This yoga pose got its name because if practices in water then it allows your body to float like a fish.
Matsyasana (fish pose) is an incredible pose that helps to strengthen your spine and total body balancing, it has got some extraordinary benefits that will be discussed later in this article.
How Matsyasana (Fish Pose) works?
Matsyasana (fish pose) is a great pose for beginners to practice and strengthen your spine, when you get to practice this yoga you will be able to experience the strength and stability within your body. With the open chest position, your body will be able to experience the better flow of oxygen and better breathing. Deep breathing while practicing this matsyasana (fish pose) will help your respiratory system stay healthier.
The proper stretch experiences in the abdominal and core area help in gentle massaging internal organs (like intestine, kidneys, pancreas, etc) resulting in their proper functioning. Incredible stretch around your neck area helps in thyroid stimulation.
Practicing yoga is not like any other physical exercise which affects a particular body part, yoga helps in all over mind, body and spiritual development, this results in better body functioning, relieving stress and peaceful mind.
Precautions before practicing
You can experience immense benefits of this matsyasana (fish pose) but there are some contradictions with practicing this pose as well.
- People with serious back or neck problem should avoid this pose.
- If you are high or low blood pressure patient then you should avoid this pose
- Patients diagnosed with Migraine or Insomnia should also avoid this yoga pose.
- If you are a newbie and trying to practice matsyasana (fish pose) for the first time then you should consider placing yoga block under your head to gain some stability and neck support.
- And if you feel like your back is too stiff to attain the natural curve of matsyasana (fish pose) then you can try placing the rolled towel under your spine for additional back support.
Step by Step Guide
You are required to practice this asana when bowels and stomach is empty, so it would to better if performed as soon as you wake-up, you can also perform this yogic pose in evening but make sure you haven’t consumed any food 3 hours prior to practicing this pose.
- Lie down on the floor with your legs straight together and your hands resting beside your body.
- Lift your pelvis slightly to allow your hands slide down under your butts.
- Inhale and bend your elbows pressing your forearms down to help you lift up.
- Raise your chest, shoulders, upper back and head off the floor.
- Drop your head back and allow your top of head to rest on the yoga mat.
- Hold the position for few seconds while maintaining the rhythmic breathing.
- Now lift your head on starting position while lowering your chest and get into starting position.
- Relax and repeat the process 6-8 times.
Video Guide :
Matsyasana (Fish Pose) variations
Slowly raise your hands off the mat and bring them in front of your chest into Anjali mudra (Palm touching). This variation will eliminate the elbow support and will help in strengthening your neck and spine.
Elevated hip is a great variation to put extra stress on your glutes and lower body. It should be noted that this variation of matsyasana (fish pose) should only be performed once you achieve expertise in the conventional Fish pose, else it could immense pressure on your neck.
In elevated hip matsyasana (fish pose) you need to elevate your hip off the ground like you can see in the reference picture. Although it contains additional benefits this variation of matsyasana should be done with full caution.
Leg rise is another incredible variation of matsyasana (fish pose) when you elevate your leg at least 1 feet off the ground. This is a great yogic pose to lose belly fat. This pose will challenge your abdomen to next level.
Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Strengthens back: Of course it strengthens your back muscles and spine, while you practice this pose you need to stabilize your back to keep it in the right posture. Holding the weight of whole upper body through your back will definitely strengthen your spine.
Better digestion: Matsyasana (fist pose) stretches your abdominal and core of your body that results in gentle massage and squeezing your internal organs to release the body waste efficiently. Better digestion results in better metabolism and better absorption of nutrients and vitamins which in turn helps in stronger bones and body.
Flexibility: With the hours of sitting job and staying in the same position for a long time is making your body stiff, most of the people are losing their mobility due to an unhealthy lifestyle. You can perform this matsyasana (fist pose) to retain your spine flexibility and improve the blood flow to every organ.
Stress buster: Matsyasana (fist pose) advocates the reduction in stress through proper breathing and stronger respiration. People who were diagnosed with hypertension and anxiety were seen to be more calm and stable after practicing yoga daily.
Pituitary, parathyroid, and pineal glands: Studies have found some very positive effects on these glands, matsyasana (fist pose) has proven effective in stimulating these glands for better functioning.
Stronger neck and Traps: While practicing this yogic pose you will be required to arch your back and keep your torso in upward direction with the support of your neck and traps, this results in their stronger development
Abdominal fat: Abdominal fat can be decreased with the leg raised version of this matsyasana (fist pose), lifting your leg upward while performing perfect arched back can work tremendously to burn your abdominal fat.
Improved posture: Every yogic posture that works on your opening chest and strengthening spine will ultimately result in improved posture, this matsyasana (fist pose) does the same. With the stronger spine and opened chest you will be able to restrain your body to hinge forward.
Menstrual pain: Its proven, study suggests the reduction in pain when some women volunteer were asked to perform matsyasana (fist pose) and few other yoga. These yoga’s were found to be effective in reducing the pain these women suffered during their menstrual period.
Constipation: Constipation is one of the most common problems suffered by people these days, bad lifestyle is one of the core reason behind this disease. You can help your body to release your body’s waste efficiently through performing matsyasana (fist pose).
Toned glutes: this can be achieved while performing the variation of this matsyasana, trying elevated hips variation will help you to achieve toned and stronger glutes muscle.
Detoxify: with the healthy excretion of body waste you are promoting the detoxification of your body. With the greater ability to detoxify, you will feel more energetic and healthy.