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Fish Pose

Matsyasana

Fish_Matsyasana_248

Traditionally Fish Pose is performed with the legs in Padmasana. Since Padmasana is beyond the capacity of most beginning students, here we’ll work either with the knees bent, feet on the floor, or with the legs straight pressed against the floor.

(mot-see-AHS-anna)

matsya = fish

Step by Step

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Inhale, lift your pelvis slightly off the floor, and slide your hands, palms down, below your buttocks. Then rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands (and don’t lift them off your hands as you perform this pose). Be sure to tuck your forearms and elbows up close to the sides of your torso.

Inhale and press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor. Next press your scapulas into your back and, with an inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor. Then release your head back onto the floor. Depending on how high you arch your back and lift your chest, either the back of your head or its crown will rest on the floor. There should be a minimal amount of weight on your head to avoid crunching your neck. (For more about this, see the Beginners Tip below.)

You can keep your knees bent or straighten your legs out onto the floor. If you do the latter, keep your thighs active, and press out through the heels.

Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing smoothly. With an exhalation lower your torso and head to the floor. Draw your thighs up into your belly and squeeze.


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Reader Comments

AG

Interesting.

N K Srinivasan

This is a great pose,but very difficult for many beginners...It is better to keep a blanket for support below the chest before bending over...Be careful not to strain your neck which is weak for many people...If you have been practising camel pose for at least a month, this pose should be easy...But always avoid dizziness while doing the pose...

pema

The body has a natural intelligence,and in our over active stressful lives we are used to ignoring it. We also have a tendency to think yoga will always help, but a misapplication or poor timing can hinder. If you are getting dizzy or blacking out it may not be time for this pose. I suggest that you honor your body's signals, and instead of going for a rush, work with the predatory poses. If I recall correctly, the yoga sutras say an asana is any pose done with ease. You might enjoy this web site, alignmentyoga.blogspot.com for a different perspective than what you are getting here.

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