The Yoga Tutor

Matsyasana: The Fish Pose

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 287 ]

Sapurna Matsya Asana 1 - the incomplete fish pose

  • Sit with your legs stretched out in utthana asana, the yogic sit up.
  • Slowly relax backwards onto the elbows, letting the head dangle back between the shoulders.
Note: The chest should be open forward and shoulders back.
  • Breathe deeply in and out for three to six rounds.
Note: The breath will be forced mostly into the mid-chest area.
  • Release the pose and slowly relax down to the floor into shava asana.
  • Gently roll your head from side to side, relieving any neck stress and tension
  • After a few moments, come back up into utthana asana.
Note: This posture is also excellent for relieving congestion.

Sapurna Matsya Asana 2

  • This variation of is performed similarly to sapurna matsya asana I, only in this case the neck is extended backwards and the top of the head is lowered down onto the floor.
  • Rest your hands on the top of your thighs and allow the weight of your upper body to be supported on the top of your head.
Note: If this is too strenuous, then place the elbows onto the floor to relieve some of the weight.
  • Perform the same breathing and relaxation techniques as in the sapurna matsya asana I, and finish in the same manner.

Matsya Asana - the classical fish pose

  • Sit with your legs stretched out in the utthana asana.
  • Lock the legs into padma asana, the lotus pose.
Note: If you are unfamiliar with this position, or unable to properly perform padma asana, then sit in any comfortable sitting position, such as ardha padma asana (half lotus), sukha asana, etc. Do Not Force Yourself into padma asana! We will be engaging in additional practices to properly prepare ourselves for this position later on.
  • Bend back onto the elbows until the top of the head touches the floor, as in the previous sapurna matsya asana II.
  • Catch hold of the toes with the hands and arch your back as much as possible.
  • Breathe deeply in and out for 3 to 6 rounds and again notice the air being concentrated mostly into the mid-chest area.
  • Release the pose and slowly come back up to the padma asana or other sitting position.
  • Release the legs and stretch them out again into utthana asana.

The contents of this web page are intended for informational purposes only. One should not engage in any yoga practices based solely upon the directions given on this web page or any other page of this web site. Anyone atempting to perform any of the yoga exercises introduced on this website assumes full responsibility and does so at their own risk.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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