MATSYA ASANA (THE FISH POSTURE)
Matsya Asana means fish
posture. It is called fish, as this position fills the lungs with air, improving the ability to float
in water. Matsyasana gives a backward stretch
to the cervical thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine and the chest
fully. Values of certain asanas are maximised when done one after the other.
This asana gives maximum benefit when performed after the Sarvanga Asana (Shoulderstand
There are two methods of doing this
asana. One is folding or turning back the head and neck area combined with the
lotus posture (Padma Asana). The second easier method is without the lotus
posture and can be practiced by any person.
Method 1 with the Lotus Posture
How to do :
- Sit in the lotus posture, with
your right foot on the left thigh and left foot on the right thigh as shown
in figure. Sit erect with the knees touching the floor.
- Lie down on the floor, pull your
palms backward a little and fold your elbows to support the body weight.
Move one elbow at a time further to allow the whole back to come to the
floor. Breath normally.
- Bring your palms underneath the
hips and the buttock. At the same time fold your elbows.
- Lift the head and bend it
towards the floor, so that only upper portion of the head (crown) touches
- Try to make an arch between the
crown and the flank (upper area of the hip and waist) by giving a pull with
your palms to the hip. In this position your body weight is resting at two
points - head and the hip.
- Bring your palms to the feet and
hold the toes. Now you are in the perfect fish posture. Breathe normally and
remain in this position for 6 to 8 seconds.
- For returning, leave the toes
and bring your palms to the hips. Fold your elbows and support the body
weight on them.
- Lift the head upward, straighten
the neck and put them back on the floor.
- Unfold the legs from the lotus
posture and stretch them out straight. Bring your hands on the floor and
relax. You have completed one round of fish posture.
Method 2 without the Lotus Posture :
- Lie on your back on the floor
with your legs stretched and palms close to the body on both sides.
- Fold your legs on the knees.
Bring the heels closer to the buttock. Keep the knees and heels
- Bring the palms underneath the
hips. Fold the elbows and lift the head up from the floor. Your body weight
should rest on the elbows.
- Put the crown on the floor. Try
to make an arch between the crown and the flank (upper area of the hip and
waist) by giving support to the elbows and the palms on the floor.
- Remain in this position for 6 to
8 seconds. Breathe normally. In this position the weight of the body rest on
the head, hip and partly on the heels.
- For returning, bring your palms
underneath the hip again and fold the elbows. Now lift the head upward first
and bring it and the neck on to the floor.
- Bring your palms and arm back to
the floor and stretch them. Now stretch out the legs and relax.
Start with one round and
gradually increase to 3 rounds. Do not practice more than 3 rounds.
Do not practice the 1st method
unless you have perfected the lotus posture before hand. Beginners can try the
second method which is easier.
It has corrective effects on neck and shoulder troubles. Good effects on
facial tissues, correct the disorders of the spine, relieves spasms in the
bronchial tubes and helps to relieve asthma and other respiratory problems.