This asana is useful for increasing energy levels, relieving anxiety and opening the heart. It is part of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga and is often performed in Hatha yoga as a counterpose for sarvangasana, or shoulder stand pose.
In matsyasana, the body is thought to resemble the shape of a fish. It is said that practicing this posture can connect the individual to the balance of earth and water, through the grounding of the limbs into the earth, and the lifting of the chest like the crest of a wave.
In a spiritual practice, matsyasana is associated with opening the visuddha (throat) chakra. When practicing matsyasana it can be helpful to visualize blue light entering the throat and filling it with energy. Opening this chakra can transform negative energy into wisdom. It also encourages self-expression and aids in any speaking endeavor.