This pose honors Matsya, the incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu as a fish. It is a backbend that strongly opens the heart and throat chakras.
This asana (posture) corresponds to the Pisces qualities as it builds up emotional stability, and stimulates the adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, and pineal glands. Pisces being the 12th and last sign of the Zodiac contains and intuitively understands all the other signs and has the innate capacity for true compassion.
How to do it:
Lie face up on the floor with legs extended. Begin by placing your arms under your body so your elbows are real close together and your palms are under your thighs facing downward.
Then scoop yourself up on your elbows by arching your upper back and dropping your head back so you stretch your throat. Finally you can release your hands from underneath and hold the sides of your buttocks. Roll your pubic bone toward the floor, lengthening through your abdomen.What to focus on:
Look towards your third eye (broomadhya dristi = the inner eye & seat of intuition) and breathe deeply for 10 full breaths. Keep on lifting and arching your upper back so you can feel the opening of the heart chakra which has an uplifting effect that builds self-confidence.
This pose is believed to symbolize the yogi’s salutation to the divine force.
Feel and enjoy the power of surrendering into vulnerability.
It soothes and relaxes the brain. It gently massages and strengthens the heart, preventing arterial blockage. It increases lung capacity and increases the flexibility of the spine. It relieves the symptoms of menopause and menstrual and arthritic pain in the back. It enhances resistance to infections.
Cautions – How to modify it:
Do not practise this asana during an attack of migraine. Avoid the pose if you have stress-related headaches. If dropping the head back feels scary or causes neck pain or strain you can look forward instead, keeping the chin close to your chest, or simply look straight up. Try to feel the best solution for you. There are various variations of Fish Pose: You can also put your legs into Lotus position (padmasana), and you can change between keeping the top of your head on the floor (stimulating the crown chakra) or off the floor…
Another pose called Uttanapadasana has very similar effects as Matsyasana, but is much more active. You can practise this after fish pose – (if possible stay for another 10 full breaths)
Pisces corresponds to the feet. The feet contain and reflect the state of the rest of the body (think of Reflexology!) A very effective way to auto-stimulate your entire body is to sit on your feet:Spread your toes as much as you can and sit tall with a straight spine, relaxing your shoulders, arms and hands. You can also rotate your upper body gently around in a circle to stimulate further. Some people feel a lot of sensation (pain) in this simple pose, but it will go away as you practise it regularly.
Kindly reproduced from The Riviera Woman website.
Article by Anette Shine, photos by Anna Fill.