Tuesday, July 16, 2024


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 posture).

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 :

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Bring your palms underneath the hips and the buttock. At the same time fold your elbows. 
  4. Lift the head and bend it towards the floor, so that only upper portion of the head (crown) touches the floor. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. For returning, leave the toes and bring your palms to the hips. Fold your elbows and support the body weight on them. 
  8. Lift the head upward, straighten the neck and put them back on the floor. 
  9. 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 :

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs stretched and palms close to the body on both sides.
  2. Fold your legs on the knees. Bring the heels closer to the buttock. Keep the knees and heels together. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. Bring your palms and arm back to the floor and stretch them. Now stretch out the legs and relax. 

Restrictions :

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. 

Benefits :

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. 

Disclaimer : We are not responsible or liable for any injury or harm caused to the practitioner while practicing the asanas given here. Some asanas may be inappropriate under certain medical conditions. We suggest that you consult a qualified instructor.