Matsyasana - Fish Yoga Pose

31 December 2023 by
Editorial team

Matsyasana, or the Fish Pose, derives its name from its ability to expand the lungs, improving buoyancy and the ability to float in water. This asana provides a comprehensive backward stretch to the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine, as well as the chest. It is often recommended to practice Matsyasana after releasing Sarvangasana, as it balances the passivity in the head, neck, and shoulders created by Sarvangasana with the activation of the lower body.

There are two methods of practicing this asana:

  1. With the lotus pose
  2. Without the lotus pose

Though the first form is regarded as superior, both methods offer significant benefits. The second, easier method is without the lotus posture and can be practiced by anyone.

Position of Readiness

With Lotus Pose

  1. Sit in the lotus pose.
  2. Lie down on your back while keeping the legs folded in the lotus form.
  3. Once the spine, neck, and head are on the floor, let the thighs fall down.
  4. Breathe normally; this is the position of readiness with the lotus pose.

Without Lotus Pose

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Fold the legs at the knees and bring the heels near the hips.
  3. Keep the knees together and separate the heels by about four inches.
  4. Place the palms on the floor, straighten the body, and look upwards.
  5. Breathe normally; this is the easy way of readiness.


  1. Bring your palms underneath the hips and buttocks while folding your elbows.
  2. Lift the head and bend it towards the floor, ensuring only the crown touches the floor.
  3. Create an arch by bending the backbone between the crown and the flank by pulling the hips with your palms.
  4. Distribute body weight on the head and hips.
  5. If in the lotus pose, bring your palms to the feet and hold the toes.
  6. Expand your chest and breathe deeply with the abdomen, concentrating on the thyroid gland.
  7. Hold this position for about one minute.

Returning to Original Position

  1. If holding the toes, release them and bring your palms to the hips.
  2. Fold the elbows and support the body weight on them.
  3. Lift the head upward, straighten the neck, and place it back on the floor.
  4. Unfold the legs from the lotus posture and stretch them out straight.
  5. Place your hands on the floor and relax.

You have now completed one round of the fish posture.


  • Normalizes gland functions: Thyroid, pituitary, pineal, and adrenal glands.
  • Stretches and strengthens: Neck, nervous system, kidneys, stomach, intestines, pelvic organs, and nerves connected to sex functions.
  • Improves respiratory health: Beneficial for asthmatics, relieves bronchial tube spasms, and alleviates respiratory disorders.
  • Corrects spinal issues: First posture to bend the spine (including the neck) backward, relieving neck and shoulder troubles.
  • Facial tissue health: Improves facial tissue conditions and corrects spine disorders.

Note: For individuals with respiratory issues, Matsyasana offers significant benefits by correcting respiratory system disorders and relieving bronchial tube spasms. It also provides corrective effects for neck and shoulder troubles, enhancing overall spinal health.

With regular practice, Matsyasana not only improves physical health but also enhances mental well-being by promoting relaxation and balance in the body.

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