I've been eating a lot of fish lately. With the recent trip to Mexico, fresh fish was abundant and sure yummy! I've also been cooking fish often because my little one loves eating it. There are many known health benefits to eating fish but I would also argue that there are many health benefits to doing the fish pose (Matsyasana) too.
Photo credit: yogamama.co.uk
Fish pose is not a pose I am very familiar with as I've rarely done it. In a recent session in my parent's basement (with their DVD, SELF Ultimate De-Stress Yoga) it reminded me of how much I'm missing the benefits of fish pose in my practice.
Being a backbend and chest opener, it usually compliments shoulder stands (Sarvangāsana). It is considered an advanced pose due to the hyperextension of the cervical spine. It takes a fair amount of body awareness to ensure proper positioning as the body is being supported by the elbows, not the neck.
During the pose, it initially feels kinda awkward. It isn't a position our bodies are in frequently. And this is why it has such benefit! It passively stretches the chest as the scapula (shoulder blades) squeeze together. After 12 months of nursing and carrying a baby around, this lengthening of the pectorals is essential.
Once back on the ground, so to speak, I felt a release through the neck as well as the chest. This is not only beneficial for me but likely the majority of the population. This release will help facilitate better posture! Now, that is a health benefit we all need!
Interestingly, the Yoga Journal website, states that fish pose is the “destroyer of all diseases” based on traditional texts. It only makes sense, that better posture would equate to better health.
So, fish pose has now been entered into my yoga repertoire. Because I just can argue with the benefits.
Fishing for more,
Although it doesn't show the actual part of the DVD with fish pose, here is a small sample of the DVD I sampled in my parents basement!
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.