MATSYASANA – THE FISH POSE
1 Dec 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
“Muktapadmasanam kritva uttannashayanam charet; koorparaabhyaam shro veshtyam rogaghnam maatsyamaasanam!!
“मुक्तापद्मासनम कृत्वा उत्तानशयनम चरे। कूर्पराभ्याम शिरो वेष्त्यम रोगघ्नम मात्स्यमासनम”।। ।। २२।।
In the Position of mukta padmasana bring the elbows of both hands around the head and lie flate on the floor. This destroyer of disease is called Matsyasana.
The Sanskrit word ‘Matsya’ means ‘fish’. It is thus nicknamed ‘The Fish Pose’. Matsyasana is a reclining back-bending asana. The name is derived form the Sanskrit matsya, meaning “fish,” and asana, meaning “pose.” Matsya is also the name of an incarnation of the god, Vishnu, who manifested himself as a large fish in order to save the earth from a flood.
The story behind Matsyasana :
At a time when the world was about to be destroyed, Vishnu came to the rescue of the people in the form of a fish. He appeared when King Manu was fetching water and pleaded him to keep him. He kept growing bigger every day filling whatever vessel he was put in until the king came to a realization that he was not a normal being.
After this Manu begged Vishnu to enlighten him to which he warned of a flood that was going to kill everything and how Manu could save it by building a great ship that Matsya (Vishnu) directed to safety. As Matsya, Vishnu was able to carry wise Hindu sages to safety, thus preserving the wisdom of all of mankind. Vishnu is kanown as Operator for protecting, caring and running the existence.
Steps to perform Matsyasana:
- To enter the pose, the practitioner lies flat on the back then lifts the pelvis so the hands can slide under the buttocks. The back arches and the chest lifts until the crown of the head (or the back of the head for beginners) rests on the floor.
- -Begin with the Shavasana (Corpse Pose).
- -Maintain a flat back. Make sure your arms are straight, with palms laid out on the mat.
- -Gently, bring your palms in under your buttocks.
- -Tip your head backwards slightly with your torso resting on the floor. Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds.
- -Inhale and use your forearms to lift your chest, shoulders, upper back, and head off the mat.
- -Bring the top of your head to rest on the mat and hold this position for a minimum of 30 seconds.
- -Return to the initial position.
- -Relax and inhale.
Preparatory Poses: Baddha konasana, Dhanurasana, Salabhasana, Supta virasana, Virasana, Urdhva mukha svanasana,
Bandhas: Mula bandha, Uddiyana bandha
Drishti: The third eye
Pose Type: Backbends, Supine pose
Merits of Matsyasana or Fish Pose :
-The stretched upper body allows unrestricted airflow, thus providing extra oxygen into the lungs.
–It expands the bronchial tubes to permit easier breathing. This is especially useful for asthma patients.
–Stretching of the neck and spine stabilizes the functions of the thyroid, parathyroid, pineal, pituitary, and adrenal glands, thus regulating the hormonal functions within your body. This means increased improvement in skin conditions, and your facial and throat muscles.
–It improves metabolism, which makes it a great pose for those who wish to shed weight,
-It stretches the spinal cord and opens the vertebral column.
–It removes soreness of the muscles and bones in your spine and neck.
–It greatly improves posture, flexibility, digestion, thus reducing constipation.
–Practicing certain advanced variations of this pose will help you acquire perfectly toned glutes.
–This pose also allows you to de-stress and detoxify with ease, therefore improving your overall health and happiness.
-It keeps the body trim and fit.
Clinical benefits are being mentioned here :
- In the ancient Yogic texts, Matsyasana can restore spinal strength and overall body balance, consequently leading to a better physical and emotional outlook of the practitioner. Matsyasana stimulates your spine, cervical muscles, thorax, rib cage, and the lungs, thus relieving your fatigue almost instantly.
- Matsyasana gives an excellent massage to the abdominal organs thereby helping to alleviate various types of digestive disorders including Constipation and Gastritis.- The Matsyasana helps in the prevention and management of many throat diseases.-
- It helps to expand the chest and beneficial in lungs and respiratory disorders.- The rib cage and lungs are given an accentuated stretch which helps to improve the breathing process by allowing the chest to expand to full capacity during respiration. It is therefore a good asana for those people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or any other lung ailments.-
- It relaxes the muscles of the upper back and makes the spine resilient.- The practice of the pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher will ensure to cure back pain.-
- It has been practically observed that those who perform the fish pose on regular basis have no issue in the formation of sperms and ova.
- It is useful for ladies in preventing and curing various forms of reproductive problems.It’s a good yoga practice for the health of the pelvic region with pelvic muscles and bones.-The practice of fish pose helps to strengthen the uterus thus beneficial for overcoming uterus problems.
- Cervical Spondylosis, any types of neck pain.
- Peptic ulcer: People who are suffering from peptic ulcers should skip performing Matsyasana.
- Hernia: Patients with hernia should avoid it.
- Spinal injury: It shouldn’t be practiced in the case of spinal ailments.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy with an advanced stage of pregnancy should avoid this yoga pose.
It is important that the body is slowly lowered into and raised from the final position by using the elbows as a support. The movement should be performed with control and care as the spine is easily injured by sudden, jerking movements.