Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Presented by Lindsay Majer

Matsyasana - Fish Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose. On a recent trip to Europe, I spent 3 hours in the car and 8 hours on a plane—one way. The trip was fabulous, but my body was feeling stiff from sitting so much, especially in a confined space. As soon as I was able, I practiced Matsyasana, my go-to pose for relieving neck and shoulder pain. In this modified variation, the legs are straight. The elbows are bent to provide leverage to lift the chest.

  1. From Supta Tadasana (Reclined Mountain Pose), bend the elbows and point the fingers up towards the ceiling.
  2. Press the elbows down into the floor to lift and dome the chest.
  3. Point your chin towards the ceiling.
  4. Move the outer upper arms down and lift the inner arms and armpit chest up.
  5. Broaden the collarbones and move the shoulder blades towards each other.
  6. Use the bottom tips of the shoulder blades to lift the chest.
  7. Hold for 3 – 5 deep breaths. Repeat 3 times.

As a mini-backbend, Matsyasana provides a nice arch from your sacrum to the back of your skull. Take care not to throw your head back too far in order to prevent crunching in the neck. This pose strengthens the rhomboids and middle trapezius—muscles that grow weak and tired after slouching in an airplane seat for so many hours.

After a few Fish Poses, I was able to open my chest, engage my back muscles, breathe deeper, and relieve the pain in my neck!

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