Fish Pose

 

(Matsyasana)

Level: Moderate

Benefits: Stretches and stimulates the muscles and organs in the front of the body, strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck, improves posture.

Cautions: High or low blood pressure, migraine, insomnia, lower-back or neck pain.

How To

matsyasana
Fig. 1 Fig. 2
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on floor and arms down beside the body. Sit on your hands, palms down. Keep your arms tucked in close to the body.
  2. Press into your forearms and elbows and as you breathe in lift your back and head away from the floor. Lengthen through the front of the torso as you move your head back and place the crown on the floor. Press down into your hands to take any undue weight off your neck and head. (fig 1)
  3. You can keep your knees bent or straighten your legs out onto the floor. If you do the latter, keep your legs active pressing out through the heels. (fig 2)
  4. Stay for 20 to 30 seconds, breathing evenly, then lower to the floor and hug your knees up to your chest.
Modifications
  • If your neck feels strained lay your head on a folded blanket.
  • An easier version is to lie with a rolled blanket or bolster under the shoulder blades.
To Deepen
  • If you have abdominal strength lift the legs to a 45 degree angle.
  • Reach your arms up to the ceiling with hands in prayer position.

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