Matsyasana or Fish Pose is a reclining back-bending asana in hatha yoga. It is commonly considered a counterasana to Sarvangasana, or shoulder stand.
The Matsya bandha causes a stretching on the thyroid and parathyroid glands, thereby improving their function and counterbalancing the effects of the Jalandhar bandha.
Steps to perform Matsyasana:
- 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.
- Repeat the process 6-8 times.
Benefits of Matsyasana
- It stretches the intestines, liver, pancreas, bladder and other abdominal organs which improves their functioning and efficiency.
- Reduces blood supply to the legs and redirects it to the reproductive and pelvic organs.
- Stagnant blood around the vertebral column is drained.
- Improves supply to the brain and face, also stretches the carotid artery.
- The reproductive system is improved due to the increased blood supply.
- Toning of the abdominal, thigh and intercostal muscles.
- Toning of intercostals muscles help in deep breathing, so it is helpful in asthma and bronchitis.
- It opens up the chest and lungs.
- It is beneficial in Haemorrhoids
- Increases circulation to the back which helps in backache and cervical spondylitis.
- Boosts the immune system due to its effect on the thymus gland.
- Loosens the spine and prevents round shoulders.
- Loosens the legs and prepares them for meditation poses.