Fish Pose

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Fish Pose Mean?

Fish pose is a supine backbend that greatly benefits the spine, opens the chest and helps erase the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

To enter this pose, the practitioner lies flat on the back with the hands underneath the buttocks. The body is supported on the backs of the legs and the forearms while the back arches and the chest is lifted. The back or crown of the head will touch the floor, but should not bear any weight.

This can be a challenging posture for beginners, due to the need for flexibility in the back. It is often used as a counterpose that follows shoulder stand pose and counteracts its forward bending of the neck and spine.

Fish pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, matsyasana.


Yogapedia Explains Fish Pose

Fish pose is a highly beneficial posture because it counteracts the forward rounding of the shoulders that many people experience when they spend a lot of time sitting at desks or driving. It pushes the upper back and shoulders in a different direction and can help to imprint a new movement pattern.

There are many physical benefits of fish pose. It strengthens the muscles of the back while stretching the pectoral muscles, the intercostal muscles and the whole abdomen. It is also said to stimulate the thyroid gland and is considered a therapeutic posture for many conditions, including constipation, back pain and menstrual pain.

Fish pose may be modified by supporting the back with a rolled blanket. A blanket can also be placed under the head. Alternatively, this pose can be deepened by stretching the arms in front of the body, with the palms pressed together in prayer position. Those with neck or back injuries should practice this pose with caution.

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