In traditional yogic texts, Fish Pose aka Matsyasana is described as being the destroyer of all disease. Hmmm, sounds like a good one to add your your asana practice!
How to Fish Pose-
Lye supine on your mat (supine means on your back)
Slightly raise your pelvis and bring your hands underneath your buttocks, one hand underneath each side, with the palms facing down.
Allow your forearms to be in contact with the ground, elbows are slightly bent but try to keep the forearms and elbows close to the body.
As you inhale, draw the shoulder blades down the back, press into your forearms and lift your upper body off the ground.
Slowly tilt your head backwards and rest the crown of your head/back of your head on the mat. Where you are resting on your head depends on how high you can lift your head and curve the top of the spine.
The majority of your upper body weight should still be in your forearms, don’t put too much weight on the head.
Stay here for 5 long and deep breaths.
Practicing Fish Pose stretches the muscles along the front of the body – the muscles of the belly and the front of the neck.
Fish Pose stimulates the organs of the belly and the throat.
It also strengthens the muscles in the back of the body- mainly the upper back and the back of the neck.
As well as this, it also releases tension the the chest area and stretches the inter-coastal muscles (the muscles between the ribs).
Avoid if you have High or Low blood pressure.
Do not practice if you are suffering from a headache/migraine.
Skip if you have a back injury.
Fish Pose is an excellent counter posture for Shoulder Stand/Sarvangasana and Plow Pose/Halasana.
To take this pose a little further, try raising your legs to around 45 degrees from the ground, with your toes pointed. This strengthens the legs and abdominal muscles. Alternatively, you can bring your legs into Lotus/Padmasana (which is the ‘full’ expression of the posture).
I love to try this pose whilst on the water. Try it in a SUP yoga class in Palm Cove.