Matsyasana (Fish Pose)


  • First step is to lie with your back on the floor, with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Inhale, lifting your pelvis slightly off the floor, and sliding your hands, palms down, below your buttocks. Then rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands (and don ’t lift them off your hands as you perform this pose). Be sure to tuck your forearms and elbows up close to the sides of your torso.Now relax for a second.
  • Second step is to inhale and press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor. Next press your scapulas into your back and, with an inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor. Then slowly release your head back onto the floor. Depending on how high you arch your back and lift your chest, either the back of your head or its crown will rest on the floor. There should be a minimal amount of weight on your head to avoid crunching your neck.
  • You can keep your knees bent or straighten your legs out onto the floor. If you do the latter, keep your thighs active, and press out through the heels.
  • Finally, stay for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing smoothly. With an exhalation lower your torso and head to the floor. Draw your thighs up into your belly and squeeze smoothly.


Here is a challenging variation of the pose - Perform the pose with the legs straightened on the floor. Then with an exhalation lift the legs off the floor to an angle of 45 degrees relative to the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, pressing actively through the heels. Finally lower the legs to the floor with an exhalation, and lay the torso and head on the floor.Finally relax and take a deep breath.


  • A traditional text that Matsyasana is the destroyer of all diseases.
  • Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas) and the muscles (intercostals) between the ribs
  • Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and front of the neck
  • Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat
  • Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck
  • Improves posture


MATSYA means “fish” in Sanskrit. MATSYASANA, the fish posture is one of the most effective ASANA-e of HATHA YOGA to purify the energies from the lower area of the abdomen. Subtly, this ASANA acts to boost the energetical centre SWADHISTANA CHAKRA. A less well-known esoteric aspect of this posture is that of sublimation of the inferior energies of SWADHISTANA CHAKRA on the upper levels of this center of force. This results in a refining of energies corresponding to SWADHISTANA CHAKRA and also helps to eliminate tensions or some diseases which are located in the genital apparatus.