Over the years, yoga has become emerged as a fascinating way to replenish both physical and mental health. The science that was once confined to the ancient yogis is now reaching millions of people all over the world. The reason? It has the power to bring a perfect harmony between the mind, soul, and body.
Another reason is its accessibility. From yoga for beginners to yoga for experts, the yoga asanas are so versatile, they can be done by anyone. What more? Yoga poses also take away the pain and stress that our body feels after a hectic day. You can also try surya namaskar yoga to start a happy and fresh morning.
In this article, we are going to talk about one such amazing yoga pose that is a perfect solution for any kind of back pain issue. This is none other than the Matsyasana or the fish pose. As the name suggests, matsyasana pose is done by reclining backward with your feet in the lotus pose. Matsyasana is performed in hatha yoga and also modern yoga. Matsyasana is pronounced as mut-see-ahs-ana.
It is said that if you perform matsyasana yoga pose in water, your body will float like a fish. This is why it is named after fish. Now, it is time to understand how matsya asanas help in alleviating back pain.
How Matsyasana Yoga helps in Relieving Back Pain?
If your job involves sitting on a chair for hours, chances are high that you will suffer from back pain someday. To avoid such a situation or to relieve the pain, you can try matsyasana or the fish pose on a regular basis.
Generally, our backs can bend only to an extent as the diaphragm is not designed for that. However, when you perform the fish pose yoga, you are able to bend your back by stretching your chest. This also stretches the diaphragm and helps in relieving tension from the back muscles. Not just this, fish pose benefits your entire spine and improves blood circulation, leading to reduced pain and stress.
Other Matsyasana Benefits
Matsyasana helps in relieving back pain. Along with that, this amazing yoga pose can give you a number of benefits for a healthy body. We have jotted down some of the most common and effective matsyasana benefits you should be aware of. Read and perform fish pose yoga every day!
- Improves Spinal Health: As we have mentioned earlier, the fish pose is a type of backbend that stretches the muscles of the back. Now, when you do that, your spine gets strengthened and stabilized. It can also improve body posture.
- Tones Glutes: Your glutes are made up of Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Each of them plays a vital role in keeping your lower body healthy and in shape. The elevated hip version of Matsyasana provides extra stretch to the gluteal muscles. This not only makes them stronger also tones the glutes.
- Beneficial for Thyroid: When you do matsyasana, you also stretch your neck into a deep curve. In the frontal part of the neck, you have the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones that control how the body uses energy. The neck movement in matsyasana stimulates the thyroid gland allowing it to produce a number of thyroid hormones.
- Beat the Stress: Sitting all day long at the desk with poor posture often leads to stress in the back and neck muscles. Matsyasana helps in aligning the spine, relaxing the back, and opening the lungs. All this helps energize the body-mind and reduce the stress in muscles.
- Improves Mood: Another one of matsyasana benefits is its ability to lighten your mood. When your back goes into the arch, your heart is lifted up and the muscles of the ribs get stretched. This facilitates more oxygen intake and the release of pent-up emotions from the heart. This eventually improves your mood.
- Keeps Diseases at Bay: Not many people know but matsyasana is called the ‘Destroyer of Diseases’. Regular practice of this yoga can help in good digestion. It also eases menstrual discomfort, detoxifies the body, and helps you feel healthy and cheerful all day long.
- Weight Loss: If you try the leg-raised variation of matsyasana, you can shed some extra kgs by burning calories. When you raise your legs up, the abdominal and obscure body muscles get engaged. This further assists in the shedding of unwanted fat from the stomach, waist, thighs, and hips.
Now that we are aware of all the benefits, let us teach you how to do saral matsyasana. Below are matsyasana steps you can follow to do this incredible pose.
- Begin by sitting straight on the yoga mat. While breathing, come into Padmasana or the Lotus Pose.
- Take deep breaths and relax your body.
- Slowly, move your body backward. For this, you can place both of your forearms and elbows on the ground behind your back.
- With the support of your forearms and elbow, lower your body backward. Gently place the head on the ground.
- Try to bend your back as far as possible. However, do not strain the muscles or you can get injured.
- Your head should be on the ground, relaxing.
- Close your eyes and relax your body. Take long and slow breaths.
- Hold this pose for a couple of seconds.
- To return to the starting position, gently reverse the poses as you release the posture.
- Once you are in Padmasana, stay relaxed for a few seconds.
- Practice matsyasana by interchanging the position of legs in the lotus pose.
Recommended Practice: If you are beginning, try to practice matsyasana steps for 1-2 minutes/session. You can also attain the final position by first lying and then folding the legs as in Sukhasana, Ardhpadmasana, or Padmasana.
Matsyasana Preparatory Poses
Though the fish pose is not as difficult, beginners may require to practice some poses to finally ace matsya asanas. These preparatory poses may include the following:
- Baddha Konasana or the Butterfly Pose
- Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose
- Virasana or the Hero Pose
- Salabhasana or the Locust Pose
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose
- Dhanurasana or the Bow Pose
- Supta Virasana or the Reclining Hero’s Pose
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or the Upward Facing Dog Pose
Matsyasana Tips and Precautions to Keep in Mind
While performing matsyasana is a great way to have a healthy body and mind, it can be harmful if not done the right way. Therefore, make sure you follow all the tips and precautions so that it does not end up giving you trouble. Some of the essential ones are as follows:
- Do not perform matsyasana if you are suffering from any heart diseases, including high BP and low BP.
- When you are a beginner, perform matsyasana under the close observation of an experienced yoga teacher.
- If you have been through any surgery, avoid matsyasana practice until the doctor suggests it.
- Never rush during the matsyasana steps as it can lead to a muscle stress or strain.
- Never perform matsyasana after having a meal. Make sure you do it at least 2 hours before or after eating your food.