Fish pose/ Matsyasana

Do you often feel sad and rejected in your daily life? Are you tired of falling sick? Are you a textbook procrastinator? If yes, then stop everything and practice the pose which will transform your life and introduce you to the wisdom of lord Vishnu – The Fish pose.

Also known as the destroyer of all diseases and the Matsyasana pose, this yoga asana is a complete exercise and stretches limbs – from throat to spine to pelvis, stimulates blood circulation and improves overall balance and emotional outlook of the practitioner.

Let’s dive deeper and understand how to practice the correct posture of the fish pose, its benefits and how to customize it to suit your needs and fitness levels.

Fish pose – Step by Step Instructions

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How to practice the correct posture of the Fish Pose

  1. Lie down on your back with feet touching each other and arms on the side

    Lie down on your back with feet touching each other and arms on the side. Inhale and exhale a few deep breaths till your body and mind are completely relaxed.

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  2. Now bring your palms under your hips. Make sure your palms are facing the ground.

    Now bring your palms under your hips. Make sure your palms are facing the ground. Bring your arms and elbows a little closer. Inhale a deep breath and lift your chest, take the head back and try to touch the crown of your head on the floor. Make sure the bodyweight is on the elbows and not the head. Keep your legs together, chest up, back arched, and softly gaze forward. Inhale deep breaths and hold the pose for a few seconds (as long as you can).

  3. Come out of the pose, relax the arms, lower your chest

    To come out of the pose, relax the arms, lower your chest, and bring your body in a straight line. Relax for a few seconds before practicing the yoga asana again

Beginners tip

When practicing for the first time, it is common to overexert your neck. Make sure you raise your chest slowly to ease the neck into the correct alignment or keep a folded towel/blanket under your neck, till you have perfected this yoga asana.

Best time to perform

It is best to practice this yoga asana is in the morning as it energizes the body, collects your focus and prepares you for the day ahead.

In case you can’t work out in the mornings, it is ok to practice in the afternoons and evenings. Just make sure you have an empty stomach and you had last meal at least 4 hours before you begin the workout.


Health benefits

The fish pose stretches and releases tension in the chest, neck, shoulders, and back. Regular practice of yoga asana helps in better nutrient absorption, relieving symptoms of constipation, asthma, indigestion, fatigue and menstruation cramps. The yoga pose also stimulates pituitary and pineal glands and maintains hormonal balance.

Therapeutic benefits

The fish pose is an excellent grounding pose and also works in the opening of solar plexus, heart, throat, and crown chakra. The pose grounds your energy into the earth and helps in regaining focus, clarity, calm, and a sense of balance. The yoga asana helps in soothing symptoms of chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression.


Avoid this yoga asana if you suffer from high/low blood pressure, insomnia, migraine, slipped disc, or have recently undergone surgery or childbirth.


A back-bending yoga asana that expands the chest cavity and spinal strength deepens the breathing and increases nerve impulses and blood circulation. The fish pose improves balance and works in correcting rounded shoulders.

Additional facts

Preparatory poses – Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Salabhasana

Follow up poses – Ustrasana, Gomukhasana, Virasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Alternate poses – Bitilasana

Sanskrit name – Matsyasana (pronounced as Mut-See-Ahs-Ana)

Matsya – Fish, Asana – Pose

The pose gets its name from the resemblance to a fish

Difficulty level – Intermediate

To the yogi, all experience is seen as one, as a means to help him cultivate devotion. All experiences have equal meaning and value.” – Prem Prakash

Fun fact – Matsya is believed to be the fish avatar of Lord Vishnu’s. It is believed that the fish saved the earth and Manu (the first man) from a big flood. Matsya is depicted in a human-animal form – the upper half as a man and the lower half as a fish.

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Sonam Gulati
Sonam Gulati
Sonam Gulati - A wife, a mom, a dog-mom, a fitness enthusiast (in no particular order) has been practicing yoga for the last 12 years. Her journey began due to chronic back pain (thanks to a long sitting job) and post-natal depression. The pain birthed an urge to find a strong body and mind (for herself, for her child) and ended up transforming her. Working through deep-rooted feelings and trauma, releasing them layer by layer, her life today is a testament to the healing power of Yoga and how it enables a mind, body, and soul union. She has been writing on various aspects of health and relationships for over 8 years, journaling through her journey.

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