Fish Pose Yoga: Instruction, Benefits and Modification

Written By Elyce Neuhauser

| Updated on  May 15, 2024
Fish Pose Yoga: Instruction, Benefits and Modification

Fish Pose Yoga, known as Matsyasana in Sanskrit, may be a restoring asana that provides numerous physical and mental benefits. Established in ancient Yoga, Fish Pose Yoga speaks to beauty, smoothness, and profound otherworldly association. As its title proposes, this posture imitates the delicate development and serenity of a fish floating through the water, bringing tranquillity and internal peace.

In Yoga Fish Pose, the professional lies on their backs with their legs amplified and arms resting near the body. Through a mindful handle of curving the back and lifting the chest, the spine gently loops upwards, taking after the rich bend of a fish in movement. This asana extends to the neck, throat, chest, and midriff and invigorates the throat chakra, advancing clear communication and self-expression. Fish Yoga Pose offers a profound opportunity for self-reflection and inward investigation. Its delicate, however capable nature energizes professionals to dive deeply into their breath, considerations, and sensations, cultivating a harmonious union of intellect, body, and soul. As we drench ourselves within the quiet grasp of Fish Pose in Yoga, we find a sanctuary of tranquility where we can reconnect with our genuine substance and encounter a significant sense of wholeness and well-being.

What Is Fish Pose?

Fish pose Yoga is a reclining, back-bending pose that opens the shoulders, chest, throat, and belly. Matsyasana comes from the words for fish (Matsya) and pose (asana). To do the chest-opening pose, lie on your back and bend your knees while putting your weight on your hips and wrists.

Fish pose in Yoga is a part of sequences in Iyengar. It opposes the shoulder stand (Sarvangasana), which works similar muscles. Hip flexors, intercostals, neck, and back muscles are stretched in the neck-constricting pose, increasing spinal flexibility, respiratory health, weariness, and anxiety.

How to Perform

  • Lay on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms next to your body with your palms facing down.
  • Move your hands under your upper buttocks and lift your hips.
  • Take a deep breath and lift your chest by pressing it into your arms and shoulders.
  • If your backbend is strong enough, bring either the back or the top of your head to the floor. But it would help if you put less weight on it.
  • Move your legs out one at a time if this feels stable. Spread out your feet and turn your upper legs inward a little.
  • Breathe in and out toward your chest and ribs for five breaths.
  • To leave the pose[1], lift your head with your arms and sit back on the mat.

Fish Pose Yoga Benefits

Fish pose provides many benefits when practiced mindfully and in synchrony with deep, elongated breathing:

  1. Lessens tiredness and stress: This deep opening of the heart space gives you more energy and eases tightness in your shoulders.
  2. Can help with constipation and menstrual cramps: The stretch in the belly from the fish pose can help massage the organs that cause these two problems.
  3. Good for your lungs: When you open your chest, your lungs become more open, making it easier to take deep breaths into the bottom of these organs.
  4. Better balance and spine flexibility: the stretch in the neck and shoulders from the fish pose helps to turn around the rounding of the shoulders that happens when you hunch forward while sitting.

Beginners' tips

  • Reduce the backbend or drape a thickly folded blanket under your head to alleviate neck pain.
  • If the backbend is too challenging, use a densely rolled blanket. This keeps your throat soft.
  • Practice the Fish position sitting upright with your back for similar advantages. Arch your back to open your chest, bring your shoulder blades together, and place your hand on the floor behind you.

Modifications & Variations

  • If your neck hurts, lower your chest. For neck support, place a folded, firm blanket under your head.
  • Start lying flat for a more bottomless chest and shoulder opening. Lift your pelvis and hips, then place your palms-down hands under your buttocks. Forearms and elbows should be tucked alongside your torso, buttocks, and back. Finally, raise your chest to your crown.
  • Advanced students can do Fish Pose with Lotus Pose legs. Starting flat, bring the legs into Lotus and complete the position.
  • For a refreshing stance, place a yoga block under your midback. Let your arms, throat, and legs relax while you drape your torso.

Common Mistakes

To get the most out of this pose, make sure you don't make these mistakes when you do it.

  1. Too Much Stress on the Head: Keep your wrists, heels, and engaged thighs in place to lift your upper body and keep your head and neck safe and supported.
  2. Pulling on the Neck: There should be a straight line between your neck and back. Imagine putting your crown, not your face, in the middle of the ground.


With its instruction, benefits, and modifications, Fish Pose Yoga offers a pathway to physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. By incorporating Fish Pose into your yoga routine and practicing mindfully, you can unlock the transformative power of this ancient posture.

Read More: How Marta Yoga Can Change Your Life


  1. Is Fish Pose Yoga suitable for beginners?

Yes, Fish Pose Yoga can be modified to suit practitioners of all levels, including beginners.

  1. How long should I hold Fish Pose?

Aim to hold Fish Pose for 30 seconds to one minute, focusing on deep, steady breaths.

  1. Can Fish Pose help with back pain?

To relieve gently stretches and strengthens the muscles along the spine, making it beneficial for relieving back pain.

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