Suffering from a back-ache that would never go? A stiff neck from sittings hours at work! Well, all these are the cons of the monotonous life we all are living. A life so robotic, that being healthy has become one of the last priorities. But what if we gave you a quick and long lasting solution for your ache! A remedy that could help you recover.
Matsyasana, commonly known as the Fish Pose is a a yoga posture that would work wonders on your tired back muscles and give you the relief you have been looking for.
What Is Matsyasana?
The word ‘Matsya’ in Sanskrit means fish. The Fish Pose or Matsyasana is aimed to treat a large number of ailments particularly back pain and stress. When done continuously, it increases energy levels and relieves anxiety.
This yoga pose is labelled as the ‘Destroyer of all Diseases’. This particular pose restores the spinal strength and enhances the overall body balance. Pronounced as mut-see-ahs-ana, the Fish pose strengthens the upper back and the back of the neck. Before trying it out, these are the couple of things you ought to know.
Prerequisites Of Matsyasana:
Fish pose benefits are immense. Check your comfort level first before starting this yoga technique. Here are some pointers:
- If you feel your back is too stiff to get a natural Fish pose, then try and place a rolled towel under your spine to get extra back support.
- If you are practicing Matsyasana steps for the first time, then it is advisable to place a yoga block under your head for gaining neck support and stability.
- Practice this asana when your bowels and stomach are empty. The best time to do it is in the morning. You can also do it in the evening but see to it that you have not consumed any food three hours before practicing matsyasana.
How To Do The Matsyasana:
Now that you are physically and mentally prepared to do this yoga technique, How to do Matsyasana should be easy. Perform a few preparatory steps of this pose. They will build up the confidence for doing the matsyasana steps at the beginners and advanced level.
Matsyasana for Beginners:
If you are a first timer on doing Fish pose, start with gentle stretching of the arms, legs and abdomen muscles. Lengthen your vertebral column too. Here are the steps:
- Lie down on the floor on your back. Your feet should be on the floor and the knees in bent position.
- As you inhale, lift your pelvis slightly off the floor. Then slide your hands below your buttocks with the palms down.
- Rest your buttocks on the back of your hands and do not lift them off as you start the pose.
- Bring your elbows and forearms close to the sides of your torso.
- Inhale deep and while you do that press your elbows and forearms against the floor, not lightly but firmly.
- Now stress your shoulder blade into your back and lift your head and upper torso from the floor.
- Bring your head back onto the floor, arch your back and lift your chest.
- Having done this, the back of your head will rest on the floor.
- Avoid putting too much of pressure on your neck. The amount of weight on your head should be minimal.
- Keep your knees bent or keep your legs straight on the floor, whichever suits you.
- Maintain this position for 15 to 30 seconds, as you breathe smoothly.
- Now start exhaling. As you do that, lower your torso on the floor and bring your head back down to the floor.
- Bring your thighs to your belly in such a way that the upper part of your thighs starts to touch the abdomen. This will help in strengthening your abdomen muscles.
- Keep following these Matsyasana steps without making any changes in them. Any incorrectness while performing the pose will can end up damaging your neck muscles.
When you have released yourself from Fish pose, stretch your legs up and then slowly bring them down so that your position is of ‘lying flat’ on the floor. Allow your muscles and your mind to relax completely.
This is a mild variation of the beginner’s pose. Instead of crisscrossing the legs, you can keep them straight. Balance poses remain same.
In case you feel stress on your neck, doing slight variation will help. Just put two blocks – one each under your head and shoulder blades and the yoga pose will be good to go.
Use a blanket (shown below) if you feel the stress increasing between your shoulder blades.
Now that you know How to do Matsyasana, there are some precautions you need to follow in the betterment of your health.
Before you venture out doing Matsyasana poses, think for a minute – is it safe for your body in the light of any previous or current ailments you have?
Following people should avoid doing it:
- Persons suffering from serious lower-back or neck injuries
- Migraine or insomnia patients
- Those suffering from high or low BP
- Those ailing from Hernia
- Pregnant women should strictly avoid doing Matsyasana as it may put enormous strain on the womb if done incorrectly.
Benefits Of Matsyasana:
Lets find out what the medical practitioners have to say about Matsyasana Benefits. Seema Sondh, a Delhi-based yoga practitioner and instructor believes that Matsyasana opens up the chest and relieves tension from the tired and overworked shoulders. Said also mentioned the following to food.ndtv.com; “Our body can bend back only to an extent. The diaphragm is not designed to go backwards. This pose opens up and stretches the chest, the diaphragm and is beneficial for the back. ”
She further added saying, “It balances hormones and stimulates your heart. This pose also has a great effect on your mind. It works on the crown of your head and has great psychological benefits. With a regular practice of Matsyasana, you will begin to feel that you can express yourself better and feel deeper. When done in the padmasana position, it works on your thighs and legs as well. Over all, the pose activates the entire spine and benefits the nervous system.”
Here are the Matsyasana Benefits in a nutshell:
- Facilitates deep breathing.
- Excellent for cervical (i.e. neck) area and respiratory issues.
- Increases the lung capacity by opening up the lungs.
- Activates the thyroid glands.
- Keeps the pituitary gland and the pineal gland in good health.
If you are suffering from a health issue at present, do consult your doctor or physician before taking up a yoga exercise. Also, practice yoga poses in the presence of a qualified yoga trainer.
Hope you found this blog on Matsyasana beneficial. Have you ever done a fish pose in the past? What was your experience like? Do write your comments and tell us. We would love to hear from you.