In stages 1 and 2 the breathing is not important. In the final stage the breathing should be deep and slow.
While moving into the final pose be attentive to the slow physical movements. In the final pose be aware of deep and slow breathing.
The asana can be done for up to five minutes. A reasonable duration to reap benefits is three minutes.
Matsyasana is an excellent counterpose for all forward bending asanas and for sarvangasana. Therefore, it can be done after any of these types of asanas. It is the ideal counterpose for sarvangasana since it stretches the neck in the opposite direction, releasing any muscular tension3.
People who suffer from peptic ulcers, hernia or any serious spinal ailment should not do matsyasana without expert guidance. Ladies in an advanced state of pregnancy should also not attempt to do this asana.
Matsyasana gives an excellent massage of the abdominal organs, thereby helping to alleviate various types of digestive disorders.
The ribcage and lungs are given an accentuated stretch which helps to improve the breathing process by allowing the chest to expand to full capacity during respiration. It is therefore a good asana for those people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis or any other lung ailments.
Matsyasana loosens up the whole spine and removes any tendency towards round shoulders. The associated nerve connections and blood supply are rendered more efficient. The nerves in the neck, and the thyroid gland are particularly influenced.
The pelvic region is also given a good stretch; this asana is therefore useful for ladies in preventing or removing various forms of sexual malfunctions. The pressure of the legs on the thighs greatly reduces the blood circulation in the legs; the femoral arteries are compressed. The blood flow is diverted to the pelvic organs including the sexual glands (testes and prostate in males and ovaries in females), which helps to revitalize these organs and eliminate various types of associated ailments. Youthfulness and vitality are also closely related to the testes and ovaries matsyasana therefore helps to bring about these desirable attributes.
It is also a useful asana for loosening up the legs in preparation for sitting in still postures for meditational practice.