Matsyasana is the fourth of the 12 basic postures of Hatha Yoga and modern yoga. This pose is a reclining back-bending asana practiced in the supine position that embodies grace and balance.

In yoga philosophy, Matsyasana is known as the “anahata”, acts as a catalyst for the activation and opening the heart.

This asana helps you to concentrate and fight difficulties when you find yourself unsteady and restless. In this, your feet keep touching the ground creating pressure while the chest remains raised and you take deep breaths.

Matsyasana Basics

Sanskrit Pronunciation Matsyasana
( maht-see-AHS-uh-nuh )
Meaning matsya (मत्स्य) meaning “fish”
asana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”
Pose TypeBackbend and Chest Opener 
Pose LevelBeginner level
Style of yogaHatha yoga
Other NamesFish Pose
StretchesThe deep hip flexors (psoas) and the muscles (intercostals) between the ribs
Strengthening The muscles of the upper back and back of the neck
Duration30 second to 3 minutes


The name comes from the Sanskrit words matsya meaning “fish”  and asana meaning “posture” or “seat”.

Matsyasana, predates the Gheranda Samhita and has its origins in older yoga texts. While the Gheranda Samhita, which is a late 17th-century text, does describe Matsyasana, this pose can be traced back to earlier texts such as the Yoga Korunta and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, believed to have been written in the 15th century CE, describes Matsyasana along with many other yoga asanas. Additionally, the Yoga Korunta, although its exact date is uncertain, is considered one of the foundational texts of modern yoga and is attributed to the sage Vamana.

If you look back at Hindu mythology, it is mentioned that Matsyasana is among one of the incarnations of the Lord Vishnu, who is the preserver of the universe. It is also often said that the earth had actually become corrupt and the flood was duly going to wash away the entire earth. Vishnu took the avatar of a fish pose which is called Matsya and then transported all of the different sages to the safety and hence ensured that all of their wisdom remains preserved.

This particular asana actually aims at becoming focused as well as resilient whenever you feel out of your balance, similar to Matsya stuck which balance the earth and the sea. It is vital to ensure that your stomach and bowels remain empty before you perform this particular asana. Duly recommended that there should be a gap of certain hours between the last meal that you have taken and the exercise. and allows you enough time for the food to easily get digested. This asana also works best whenever practices early in the morning but you can also practice it in the evening too.

Practice Guide For Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Matsyasana involves a sequence of movements that challenge the practitioner’s balance, flexibility, and focus. To facilitate a step-by-step approach, the pose is divided into key components, allowing practitioners to grasp each element before attempting the full pose. These components typically include the initial posture, transitional phases, and the final position.

Preparatory Pose

Steps To Do Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Matsyasana | How to do
  • First, you actually need to lie flat on the back. ensure that your legs are actually together and the hands are duly placed comfortably beside the body.
  • Place the palms under the hips and palms are actually facing the ground. After this, bring your elbows close to each other and also place them closer to your waist.
  • Now you need to cross the legs in such a way that the feet cross each other right at the middle and the thighs, as well as knees, are placed duly flat on the floor.
  • After this, breathe in and then lift the chest up such that the head is actually lifted and the crown touches the ground.
  • Ensure that the body weight in on the elbows and not on the head. As the chest is lifted, try to pressurize the shoulder blades.
  • Hold this particular position to the length that it is comfortable for you. Keep your breath normal.
  • Exhale and then release this position along with lifting the head first and then go on to drop the chest to the floor. Now untangle the legs and then relax.

Matsyasana Benefits

  • A traditional text says that Matsyasana is the “Enemies of all diseases.”
  • It also helps with reducing the weight of the body.
  • Fish pose manages the blood circulation.
  • It can restore spinal strength and overall body balance and improves body posture.
  • Matsyasana is an beginner supine hip opener for those have with chronically tight deep hip extensions.
  • Matsyasana also stimulates the Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra) and Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra). It include diseases of the throat and the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
  • The practice of fish pose powerfully fight with Insomnia and makes the Pineal gland strong that helping you restful sleep at night.
  • Regular practice of fish pose to helps Constipation, reduce tension or stress, respiratory ailments, and anxiety.
  • The fish pose boosts the oxygen and increases the lung capacity.
  • It also helps in opening the chest, corrects round shoulders and stretches the neck muscles and shoulders.


It is better to avoid this particular pose in case you are suffering from low or high blood pressure. Also, the patients who have the condition of insomnia, as well as a migraine should avoid this pose.

In case you have any back injury, then it is strongly suggested that you don’t try this pose.

As a beginner, it is actually quite possible that you may actually feel a bit of strain on your neck whenever you start practicing this particular asana. In order to avoid this, you can easily lower the chest slightly or even put a pillow or folded a blanket under the head until you actually feel comfortable in this pose.


Matsyasana Yoga is an exercise in which the body is shaped like a fish. Many types of health benefits of this yoga are mentioned. The habit of practicing this yoga can be helpful for you in increasing blood circulation and reducing the risk of stress, anxiety and many other health problems.


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The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional