FISH POSE (Matsyasana)


Contra-indications: Lower back, shoulder or neck injuries, low or high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke, insomnia, migraines.

Lie on the back with the palms of the hands facing down and flat on the floor under the buttocks. Extend the legs straight and together. Bend the elbows bringing them under the body and push them into the ground. Inhale and lift the upper torso and head away from the floor until you are sitting half way up. Exhale and lower the top of the head to the ground, creating a strong arch in the back. Keep the throat soft and breathe smoothly and as deeply as possible, expanding the ribcage as well as abdomen. Hold the pose for half of the time that you held the Shoulderstand or as long as comfortable. To come down, lift the head off the floor and lower the back down, vertebra by vertebra. Bring the knees towards the chest, wrap the arms around the shins and hug the legs. Slowly roll the head from side to side once or twice and relax.

Do not put much weight on the head to avoid crunching the neck - the crown should be touching the floor, but the weight is mainly on the elbows.

Do press the shoulder blades into the back, keep the chest fully expanded and the shoulders spread wide.

What if I feel discomfort in my neck/throat? Lower the chest slightly toward the floor, or put a thickly folded blanket under the back of the head.

Benefits: Stimulates thymus, thyroid and parathyroid, pituitary and pineal glands. Opens the diaphragm and optimizes lung capacity helping to relieve asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Massages the shoulders and neck, removes stiffness in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine. Stretches the  abdominal organs improving digestion and removing constipation. Increases youthfulness and vitality.

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