Top 15 Health Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose) and How to do it with variations

Matsyasana, Fish-Pose, How-to-do-matsyasana, how-to-do-fish-pose

Table of Contents:

  1. Meaning of Matsyasana(Fish Pose)
  2. How to do Matsyasana
  3. Variations
  4. Consciousness
  5. Duration
  6. Beginner’s Tips
  7. Benefits of Matsyasana(Fish Pose)
  8. Precautions and Contra-Indications
  9. Advanced poses of Matsyasana(Fish Pose)
  10. Preparatory Poses
  11. Follow-up Poses

Meaning of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

‘Matsyasana’ (मत्स्यासन) is also known as ‘Fish Pose’. The word ‘Matsya’ means ‘Fish’ and the word ‘Asana’ means ‘Pose’. Hence, it is referred to as ‘Fish Pose’.

As per the traditional view, when we do this asana in water, then we float in the water just like a fish.

How to do Matsyasana (Fish Pose)?

Step#1 Sit-in Padmasana and relax your entire body.

Step#2 Slowly and carefully bend backwards with the support of your elbows and arms.

Step#3 Lift your chest up a little and lower the crown of your head to the floor.

Step#4 Hold the big toes with your hand and rest the elbows on the floor.

Step#5 To get the maximum arch of the back, adjust the position of the head.

Step#6 Relax the complete body, and takes rest in that position for a while.

Step#7 Try to focus on your breathing i.e. inhalation and exhalation at least for 10 breath counts.

Step#8 Now, come back to the initial position by following the steps in reverse order.

Repeat the same steps as mentioned above by changing the position of crossed legs.

Note 1: This is how you do, Matsyasana. This is the first Variation. Do it carefully under the yoga instructor only because it may harm your neck, spine, etc.

Note 2: Here, You’ll notice that way of folding the legs resembles the tail of a fish.

See the following video of Matsyasana (Fish Pose).


Three types of variations of Matsyasana (Fish Pose) are mentioned below. If one cannot do the above, then one may take to variation 2 & 3, which are for beginners.


Follow the above procedure. Besides, change the position of hand only. In this, you’ve to interlock the fingers of both hands, then placing the hand behind the head and rest the back of the head in the open palms.

Variation-2 (For Beginners)

How to do it?

Follow the below steps for Variation-2:

Step#1 Sit with your legs stretched forward.
Step#2 Fold one leg, and place it on other thigh, keeping the other leg stretched.
Step#3 Slowly and Carefully go backwards by taking support of palms and elbows.
Step#4 Lower the crown of the head to the floor.
Step#5 Hold the foot of the bent leg with both hands.
Step#6 Make the arch of the back as much as possible.
Step#7 Finally, Close your eyes and maintain the posture for a few seconds.
Step#8 Then, Come to the initial position by following the steps in reverse order.
Step#9 Repeat the same pose with the other leg folded.

Variation-3 (For Beginners)

Same as the second variation but keep both legs stretched instead of folding. Also, place both the hands either on the floor or on thighs.


One may meditate on:

  • Anahata or Manipura Chakra.
  • Breathing i.e. inhalation and exhalation.
  • Neck muscles, top of the head, abdomen, spine, etc.


Come to the last position and stay there for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the procedure with the other leg and again stay there for 30 more seconds. This makes one complete round if you’re doing with padmasana.

This way one can do it for 3 such rounds or do the follow-up poses to make it more intense.

Beginner’s Tips

Go slowly and carefully backwards, taking full support of your arms and elbows. Otherwise, it may hurt the spine. Also, be careful on coming back to the initial position.

Take help of someone if not able to raise from the last position.

Note: First, try to do the second and third variation mentioned above. Then move to the advanced poses.

Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Below are the few benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose):

1) Abdominal Ailments

If you’re suffering from Abdominal problems, then this asana would be the perfect asana for you.
It removes all kinds of Abdominal ailments since this asana stretches Abdominal muscles and intestinal muscles.

2) Alleviates backache

Those who have back pain can practice this asana as it recirculates stagnant blood in the back.

3) Stimulates thyroid and parathyroid gland

It activates thyroid and parathyroid glands which results in increasing metabolism, and hence, it energies your entire body.

4) Stimulates Pineal, adrenal, and Pituitary Gland

As it activates pineal gland, hence it will produce more melatonin hormone, and helps in insomnia.
It also activates adrenal gland, which is located on top of each kidney.This regulates cortisol hormone, which in turn helps in stress.
By activating pituitary gland (master gland), it activates other glands like pineal, thyroid, etc.

5) Helps in Bronchitis and Asthma

This asana expands chest, encouraging deep respiration. Hence, helps in Bronchitis and asthma-like problems.

6) Boosts immune system

On regular practicing, it boosts the immune system by activating the thymus gland.

7) Increases Youthfulness and Vitality

Good Pose for those who want to look young and full of energy.

8) Removes Constipation

Constipation is becoming a household problem. To get relief from that, one should perform this asana after drinking three glasses of water.

9) Increases Lung Capacity

This pose stretches chest, encouraging deep respiration. Hence, it increases lungs’ capacity.

10) Removes stiffness in neck and shoulder

It can remove too much stiffness in neck and shoulder as this asana applies pressure on neck and shoulders.

11) Helps in losing weight

This asana helps in increasing metabolism rate, which will help in losing weight.

12) Removes stress

Practising this pose regulates the cortisol hormone which is related to stress.

13) Good for pelvic organs

Stretching the pelvic region helps in reducing the pressure of feet on the thighs, which reduces blood circulation to legs and directing the blood to pelvic organs. Hence, it gives sufficient blood to pelvic organs.

14) Helps in Bleeding piles

One may get relief from inflamed and bleeding piles.

15) Helps in Menstrual Pain

It is good for those suffering from menstrual pain.

Precautions and Contra-indications

  1. Pregnant women should not do this asana.
  2. People suffering from heart disease, Blood pressure problems, peptic ulcers, hernia, migraine etc. should not perform this fish pose.
  3. Patients of Slip-disc and cervical problem should not do this Fish pose.
  4. It is better to do this Matsyasana under proper guidance of an experienced yoga instructor.
  5. Do not do this asana alone, as one may face a problem in coming back to the initial position.

Advanced poses of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Matsyasana is itself an advanced pose if one does it with Padmasana.

Preparatory Poses

Below are the few preparatory poses which one might include, before doing Matsyasana (Fish Pose). It is something like the warm-up for Matsyasana.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation Poses)
Yogamudrasana (Psychic Union Pose)
Gupta Padmasana (Hidden lotus Pose)
Baddhakonsana (Bound angle Pose)
SuptaVirasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
Urdhvamukha shvanasana (Upward-facing dog Pose)
Setubandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Salabhasana (Locus pose or Grasshopper pose)
Pavanmuktasana (Wind Releasing Pose)

Follow-up Poses

Below are the few follow-up Poses which one might include to make matsyasana more intense. One may practice just after Matsyasana.

Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
Gomukhasana (Cow Face Yoga Pose)
Virasana (Hero Pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Kukkutasana(Cockeral Pose)
Gupta Padmasana (Hidden Lotus Pose)

Now, you know everything about Matsyasana (Fish Pose). Try it under an experienced yoga instructor and do not forget the precautions and contra-indications.


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