HOW TO: Fish Pose (Matsyasana)


This back-bending pose is known for being energizing and helping make you feel refreshed.  By bringing the heart above the head it makes it easier for blood to travel to the brain, giving you a burst of energy and focus.  Also, if you are anything like me and you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in a car, you might notice that your back naturally starts to round.  This pose will open your shoulders and help reverse the rounding of the spine, improving your posture and helping to prevent back pain.

Since this is a back-bending pose, it’s better to warm-up the body first.  Try starting with some Cat/Cow stretches, a Seated Spinal Twist, and Downward Facing Dog to prepare your body for this pose.


  • Begin by lying on your back with your arms at your sides.
  • Press your elbows into the mat and lift your hips, sliding your hands underneath your sitting bones with your palms pressing into the mat.
  • Lift your head up off of the mat gazing at your feet.
  • Press your elbows into the mat and expand your chest arching your back so that you can lower the crown of your head onto the mat.
  • Stay here, or engage your core muscles to lift both legs off of the mat to about 45 degrees.


  • Stretches the chest, neck, and shoulders
  • Strengthens the legs, core, and upper back
  • Helps relieve stiffness in the neck and shoulders
  • Stretches the hips flexors
  • Stimulates the thyroid gland


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5 Responses to HOW TO: Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

  1. Chelsea says:

    I loves these “how to’s!” I’m currently practicing ashtanga on my own until I have access to a teacher but it’s quite hard because I can never be sure my form is correct so I try to watch a lot of tutorials but I love these posts it’s so helpful! Thanks for these and I hope you continue to post more =)


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