Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Posted by huihsien on 06 Nov 09

The Matsyasana is typically used as a counterpose for Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulder Stand), a pose whereby the back of your neck muscles and upper spine are stretched. On the other hand, the Matsyasana, stretches the front part of the neck, opens up the throat and compresses the upper spine. For many of us who spend most of our time hunched over the computer, this pose improves the posture and increases lung capacity.

There is a common inclination towards placing the entire weight of your upper body on the crown of your head as you arch your back into postion. Instead, you should continue to open up your chest by moving your shoulders back and transfer your upper body weight back down to the center of your abdomen.

There are a few variations in Matsyasana. Traditionally it is performed with your legs in Padmasana.
Or as a beginner both feet are placed together on the ground.

In the finishing sequence of Ashtanga, the Extended Fish Pose (Uttana Padasana) is performed. In this variation, both legs are raised 45 degrees from the floor and the arms extended forward with fingers pointing towards the ceiling.

My yoga teacher once told me that one can float by performing the Matyasana in water. I was sceptical at first but tried it out of curiosity, and surprisingly it worked!

Archived in the category: Yoga Poses & Styles

3 comments for “Fish Pose (Matsyasana)”


One of my friend always skip this pose after Shoulderstand, he says this make him feel dizzy, hhmm…

November 6th, 2009 at 2:43 pm
Hui Hsien:

Your friend could try to lie down a while in Shavasana before going into the next pose.
Also, he must remember not to hold his breath because that can cause dizziness too.

November 6th, 2009 at 6:52 pm

[…] beneficial to perform poses that focus on opening up this area, such as Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Navasana (Boat […]

March 3rd, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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