If there is an ideal Yoga position to relax the area of the neck and prevent contractures occurring, it is the asana Matsyasana. It is also called “posture of the fish,” a position that, looks likes fish swimming.
It is a posture, that can open all the chest part, work to the mobility of our spine and help us to correct the position of the shoulders and neck thrown forward, which is common in our day to day life.
The Health Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- It allows stretching of the cervical and dorsal region of the spine.
- The position of the fish, by allowing stretch, helps to combat kyphosis, it is the formation of an exaggerated curve in the upper part of the back.
- It helps to eliminates blockages in the throat and neck area.
- It enhances the chest facilitating a deep and yogic breathing.
- It free lungs from all types of inhibition and acquire a greater capacity to fill with air.
- It by acting positively on the lungs, the fish posture reliefs chronic bronchitis and asthma.
- Strengthens the arms.
- Stimulates the parasympathetic system, which allows relaxation.
- Stimulates the heart chakra.
- Stimulates and tones the pineal and pituitary glands.
- Increases the capacity of resistance of the body.
How to do the Matsyasana posture?
To perform the posture of the fish you must follow the following steps:
- Lie on your back, put your legs and feet together and place your arms under your body, palms down, trying to join your elbows under you and as much as you can.
- Flex the elbows and push them towards the ground.The weight of your body should rest on your forearms.
- Elevate the chest until you acquire a position similar to that of being half-sitting.
- Drop the head back until the crown or top of the head reaches the ground and gently support it. When you do this, open your chest as much as you can without forgetting that the weight should fall on your elbows and forearms and never on your head.
- While you adopt the Matsyasana Yoga posture you should keep feet, legs and facial muscles as relaxed as possible. To achieve this, try to distribute the weight between the buttocks and the elbows and, taking advantage of the fact that the chest is wide open, try to breathe as deeply as possible.
How to get out of the fish’s posture
Once you have stayed for a time in this position and when you want to undo the position of the fish pose, you should follow the following steps:
- Lift your head slowly and slowly, exhale progressively, without haste and helping your hands, lower your back.
- Place the interlaced hands, behind the head, with the arms close to the ears.When you exhale, bring the chin to your chest and stretch and flex the neck slightly.When you inhale it, extend the neck so that your head rests on the ground.Turn your head from side to side, slowly, a couple of times.
- Separate legs and arms and adopt a position of absolute relaxation. Adopt such position, inhale in three times expanding your abdomen to the maximum.While your abdomen descends, exhale in three times.
The regular practice of fish posture can serve to regulate moods as well as nervous tensions and emotions. The Matsyasana therefore help us to achieve a better emotional balance and to direct more vital energy (prana) to the neck and shoulders.
Precautions while performing fish posture
However, there are some cases, in which extreme caution is required when performing the fish’s posture. People who have disorders of cervical vertebrae, for example, can adopt this position but without arching the trunk.
They will have to make a modification in the asana and, thus, they can substitute the act of supporting the head on the ground when throwing it back for supporting the back and the occiput.
Whoever has discomfort in the cervical vertebrae can also roll a blanket and place it in the area of the spine, from the coccyx to the shoulder blades. By supporting the back on it, this asana can be performed more comfortably.
On the other hand, if you have discomfort in the lower back you can introduce a slight modification in the posture and perform it with crossed or flexed legs.
Pregnant women should avoid this fish posture, they can practice Matsya Kridasana, a variation of Matsyasana, it is aa flapping fish pose can serve as an excellent relaxation.