What Is Matsyasana?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Matsyasana, also known as the fish pose, is one of the positions included in the practice of yoga. When a person enters the pose, she basically lays face up, arches her back, and opens her chest while attempting to rest the top of her head on the ground. Many people believe that this pose will help prevent many ailments, such as colds or bronchitis.

There are several ways to begin matsyasana. The most common way is to sit cross-legged in a position called lotus. Many people, especially those who are new to yoga, may prefer to sit with their legs straight out in front of them or with their legs bent at the knees and their feet placed on the ground.

After the person has assumed her seated position, she will gently lay with her back on the ground. Next, she will bridge her pelvis so that it lifts up enough to bring the top of the buttocks off the ground. She can rest her forearms and elbows on the ground on either side of the body. The position reaches its pinnacle when the person arches her back, while attempting to place the top of her head on the ground. Matsyasana should not be held for longer than 30 seconds by most people.


Many people like matsyasana because it stretches and opens a wide range of body parts. For example, it opens and loosens the muscles of the chest and stretches the back and neck. It also works the core muscles of the body, such as the abdominals and the back. Shoulder and neck muscles are strengthened as well, especially if the practitioner is able to rest the top of her head on the ground.

Matsyasana has been reported to fight illness for thousands of years. For example, it is believed to be helpful for people who are affected by digestive issues, anxiousness, and tiredness. Some people believe that it opens the breathing passages in the lungs, making it a beneficial pose for people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, colds, or other respiratory ailments. It is also thought to be a good pose to improve poor posture.

If done from a seated cross-legged position, or lotus, matsyasana is thought to be a relatively advanced pose. Generally, it should not be part a person's practice if she suffers from blood pressure issues. In addition, anyone with a prior injury to the back or neck should avoid the fish pose. In most cases, if a practitioner feels any sort of neck strain, she should avoid matsyasana. In some cases, support can be given to the neck, head, and back by using folded blankets and bolsters or pillows under those areas of the body.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?