Fish Pose or “Matsyasana” (Mat sy asana) releases the tension in the spine and opens the heart center. The cycling “posture” can create an imbalance in the posture by over stretching the back/posterior region and under compensating the front/anterior region. Like the Camel pose, this pose expands the chest and breaks up the tension in the middle and upper back. Some benefits consist of regulating the hormonal functions, such as parathyroid, pineal, pituitary and adrenal glands. It also increases improves the muscles in your facial and throat. If you want to lose weight this is also may be helpful. There are variations of the Fish Pose that will also open the arms and wrists. This pose is a modification version.
Sit on the mat with your legs extended straight. Then lean back onto the hands with the fingers pointing backwards. Engage the legs into the mat by rolling the knees inward towards one another and point the toes to the ceiling. Imagine both legs merged into one. Start curving your chest upward gently feeling a pull in the abdomens and expanding the chest. Slowly point your toes toward the top of your mat. Use your inhalations to help lift the chest upward and away from the waist. Roll your shoulder back and down and push down with your hands through the ball of each finger. Move your spine forward lifting your chest with each breath. When you inhale emphasize the expansion through the sternum and exhale as you press the shoulders blades and chest forward if possible curve our head backward. . Try not to scrunch the neck and keep it soft by pressing upward through the base of your throat and stretch outward through the chin.
When expanding the chest fully, the alignment would be both vertically and horizontally. The torso would be vertically round from your pubis to the chin. When pressing the hands firmly down in the floor, the arms are lengthened and opening the shoulders horizontally round from shoulder to shoulder. As you take long slow breaths in and exhale slow, you are lengthening and strengthening the torso. To deepen your pose, bending one elbow at a time to the mat with fingers facing forward will provide a greater chest expansion. Come out the pose slowly being mindful of the neck and back.
To counteract this pose, try a plow pose or Child’s pose.
If you have any spine injuries, please consult your physician first. Again, if you feel any painful sensations, please come out of the pose slowly. Don’t forget to breathe as you move from one position to another. Always, be mindful and listen to your body when you begin any pose.