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Matsyasana – Fish Pose.

November 2, 2011

Matsyasana – Fish Pose.

  • Begin in Savasana
  • Take a few moments to settle the body and the mind
  • Lift the head slightly to check the body is lying straight, and then release the head back down to the floor
  • Lengthen the back of the head to elongate the neck and align the head correctly
  • Bring the hands under each buttock with the palms facing down onto the mat
  • Gently nudge the arms further in towards the body and if possible bringing the elbows under the sides of the back of the body
  • Bring the legs together
  • On the inhalation, press the elbows into the mat whilst simultaneously lifting the chest off the ground and upwards into a slight backbend
  • The intention is to squeeze the shoulder blades together to facilitate the expansion of the chest
  • Then gently, slowly and cautiously bring the top of the head to rest on the mat
  • One can stretch into the heels of the feet or point the toes depending on one’s comfort level
  • Hold for 3 – 5 breaths as a beginner or
  • 5 – 8 Breaths for a more advanced practitioner
  • On the inhalation, slowly release the top of the head from the ground, lengthen the neck and gently place the head down
  • Release the arms from under the body.

Counterpose /  Pratikryasana:
Apanasana or

Cautions and Modifications:

    • Do not practice Matsyasana if there is a history of neck injuries
    • Do not practice Matsyasana if one is prone to severe headaches and or migraines as the compression of the neck in such an asana / pose could aggravate the problem or onset a severe headache or migraine
    • Avoid Matsyasana if experiencing bouts of nausea
    • One can open the mouth slightly once in the pose to facilitate the breathing process
    • Having the hands under the buttocks and elbows tucked in allows for easier leverage to push up, open the chest and place the crown of the head down however one can
    • Place the arms alongside the body with the forearms either resting down or upright then pushing on the elbows to lift up and maneouver into the pose
    • Matsyasana can be practiced with the legs in Padmasana, (Lotus posture) – for more advanced practitioners
  • For a slightly milder variation, one can do Matsyasana with the legs in Baddha Konasana, (Cobbler Pose).


  • Matsyasana stretches the front of the body, namely the front of the neck and the chest thereby expanding the chest and facilitating improved breathing.
  • Stretches and tones the neck muscles
  • Activates the Thyroid Gland which is essential for various functions including maintaining a healthy metabolism
  • It is the preferred Pratikryasana or counter-pose for Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand

Chakra Association:
Vishuddha Chakra.

Wishing you love and light to guide your way.

With gratitude and Love,


Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since January 2007. or visit the website

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