Though yoga has been around for many years, only recently it has gained recognition due to the heap of benefits that it offers. The best thing about practicing yoga asanas is that it doesn't require any specific place or any expensive instruments. It can be performed anywhere, with comfortable clothes and just requires a mat. Matsyasana is one of the many yoga asanas which can be practiced at the comfort your home.

What is Matsyasana?

Matsyasana is a yoga asana, where ‘Mastya’ means fish and ‘asana’ means position or posture in Sanskrit. It is named as Matsyasana as the final posture of this yoga asana resembles a fish. This asana involves folding the legs which resemble the tail of a fish, while the rest of the body posture represents the body and head of the fish. This asana, if performed in water, allows the body to easily float. Practicing Matsyasana regularly helps to improve flexibility and also expands the chest. Also this asana is known to strengthen the lungs and thus helps to improve the health of people with asthma.

How to do it?

  1. Lie down on your back. Bend your knees with the soles of your feet attached to the floor and both the hands relaxed alongside the body with palms facing down.
  2. Lift your hips and place both the hands underneath the buttocks, palms facing towards the floor.
  3. Bring the elbows closer to the body.
  4. Breathe in and slowly lift the head and the chest, pressing your palms and elbows.
  5. Keeping the chest elevated and depending on the flexibility of your back, touch either the top or back of the head to the floor. Do not put too much weight on the head, instead take support of the elbows.
  6. Keeping the thighs and the legs pressed to the floor, lift your chest from in between the shoulder blades.
  7. Hold this position for up to 5 breaths or as long as you are comfortable. Keep breathing.
  8. To come out of this pose, press the elbows and slowly lift the head up and lower the chest to the floor.
  9. Bring the hands back from underneath the hips to the sides of the body and relax.

Benefits of Matsyasana:

Below are some proven health benefits of performing Matsyasana regularly:

  • Helps to expand the chest and abdominal muscles, stimulates the respective organs and thus improves the blood circulation in those areas.
  • It encourages deep breathing and thus gives relief from various respiratory disorders. It is also known to be helpful for people having asthma.
  • Improved immunity and metabolism by regulating the functioning of the thyroid and thymus gland.
  • As it involves massaging the abdomen, it helps in giving relief from gastric ailments like constipation, piles, inflammation, etc.
  • Strengthens the pelvic muscles and reduces the risk of disorders of the pelvic and reproductive organs.
  • Beneficial for women suffering from vaginal prolapse or any kind of uterine ailments.
  • It helps in relaxing the muscles of the upper back, thus strengthening the spine.
  • Provides a sense of well-being, calmness and helps to relax the body and the mind.

Precautions to take:

There might be some risks involved in performing Matsyasana and hence it is important to take necessary precautions.

  • People suffering from peptic ulcers and hernia should perform this asana only after consulting the doctor.
  • Matsyasana should be avoided by people having any kind of spinal issues.
  • People having elevated blood pressure should not perform this asana. And people consuming medications for hypertension should perform this asana only if advised by their treating doctor.
  • It is better to perform Matsyasana under a guided yoga trainer if you have the following conditions:
  1. Undergone a surgery in the past.
  2. Is pregnant, especially in the first trimester.
  3. Suffering from sleep disorder.


Matsyasana or fish pose is a yoga asana having a wide range of health benefits for the entire body, especially the pelvic region, respiratory organs, spine, abdominal organs and mind. Though a lot of yoga asanas offer a lot of health benefits, it should be noted that it is not a treatment for any kind of medical health problems. If you are suffering from any medical conditions, it is always better to talk to your doctor before performing any yoga asana. Also it is always recommended that you practice yoga under the supervision of a qualified yoga practitioner or trainer, to prevent any complications or injuries.