Yoga Articles

Yoga Pose Fish (Matsyasana) benefits and precautions

The yoga pose Fish also known as Matsyasana does not look exactly like a fish however it is said that, if it is performed in water it enables a person to float like a fish, hence the name. In this posture, the chest is fully expanded and stretched, and the breathing becomes fuller.

Ideally, this yoga pose Fish (Matsyasana) should be practiced after the Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana) and the Plough pose (Halasana) because this yoga pose gives the neck an effective counter stretch.

Fish pose should be performed for at least half the amount of time of performing the Shoulderstand in order to balance the stretch.

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Fish Pose Benefits:
This pose opens and releases any muscular tension of the chest after performing Shoulderstand and Plough.

It is said that when the yoga poses (Shoulderstand, Plough Pose and Fish pose) are practiced together the activity of the thyroid gland is regulated; a hypoactive gland is stimulated and a hyperactive gland is pacified.

The Fish pose stretches the muscles between the ribs and the throat and relieves the stiffness of the neck and shoulder muscles and improves the body posture by correcting any tendency of having rounded shoulders.

It removes stiffness in cervical (neck), thoracic (between neck and waist) and lumbar (lower part of the back) regions increasing blood circulation in these areas.

Fish pose ( Matsyasana) also said to regulate emotions and it relieves stress. Many people who have depression often have feelings of tightness or pressure in the chest. This Fish pose if performed regularly can help ease the pressure.

Tip for beginners: you may place a blanket or a block under your head if the crown does not comfortably come to the floor.

Even though the Fish pose (Matsyasana) brings tremendous benefits to the practitioner, there are some health conditions where this pose should not be practiced.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana) Precautions:

1) During pregnancy, this asana is to be avoided as it may places enormous strain on the womb especially if done incorrectly.

2) If you suffer from serious lower back or neck injury, it is better to avoid this yoga posture.

3) In the case of a hernia, this  Hatha yoga asana preferably must not be practiced.

Issued in the interest of people practicing Hatha Yoga by Subodh Gupta, Yoga Instructor based in London


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Subodh Gupta - Yoga Instructor based in London. Author of several books on Yoga. Conducted more than 500 wellness workshops in Delhi and London. Natural Health & Buddha Teachings in English