Fish - Matsyasana



Basic Instructions

Even if you found the backwards movement of the
neck difficult or painful during the Neck Exercises,
you may find the same movement quite easy in the
Fish posture. This is because the neck movement
here is simply a natural continuation of the backwards
curve of the thoracic vertebrae.

  1. Lie down on your back, bring your legs and feettogether, keeping the knees straight, and place both arms under your body, with your hands as far as possible under your thighs (palms down) and your elbows as far as possible under your back. This position pulls your shoulders further back, increasing the potential for chest curve in the movement to come.
  2. Bending the elbows, push them into the ground. Keeping the weight on the elbows, use them to lift the chest until you are sitting up half way.  Slowly drop the head back so that top of the head is on the ground with the chest expanded.  The head should be touching the floor, but the weight is on the elbows. Keep your mouth closed throughout to increase the stretch in your throat and chest, and practice Complete Yogic Breath.  Beginners, try to hold the position for at least 15 seconds, half of the time that you hold the Shoulderstand.
  3. Keep your feet, legs and face relaxed. Distribute your weight, equally on the buttocks and elbows. Arch the chest as high as possible.  Breathe as deeply as possible, taking advantage of the fact that the chest is thrown wide open. Expand the ribcage, using it to breathe fully with each breath. Do not force the breath. Gradually increase the time you are holding the Fish, until it is approximately 1 ½ minutes.
  4. To come down, lift the head slightly lower the back to the ground and relax in the Corpse Pose.  Slowly roll the head from side to side once or twice, then bring the head back to center.

NECK STRETCH After Fish, practice this pose
to release any tension in your neck. With your
fingers interlocked behind your head and your
forearms close to your ears, inhale and lift your
head, pushing your chin into your chest. On an
exhalation, slowly lower your head back to the mat.
Repeat 2 times. Relax for 1–2 minutes in Corpse Pose.