Matsyasana (Fish Pose) – Variations For Beginners

The following two variations are simplified forms for beginners. They can be done by those people who cannot sit in padmasana. They give nearly equivalent benefits as the classical form, though at a lower level.

Variation 1: in ardha padmasana

Sit on the floor with the two legs in front of the body.

Fold one of the legs into ardha padmasana (half lotus pose) keeping the other leg straight.

Do stage 2 described for the classical form of matsyasana.

Then do alternative A (don’t do alternative B for there will be little or no benefits).

In the final pose hold the toes and ankle of the folded leg with both hands.

Make sure that the back is arched as much as the flexibility of your back will allow.

This is the final pose.

Relax the body.

Close the eyes.

Be aware of breathing.

Stay in the final pose for some time.

Then return to the starting position.

Repeat the same practice with the other leg folded.

Variation 2: with both legs straight

Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front of the body.

Do stage 2 as described for the classical asana.

Bend your head backwards and look at the floor behind the head.

Gently lower the head to the ground by sliding the arms away from the head towards the feet.

Accentuate the upwards arch of the spine and then let the head support the weight of the body.

Then place the arms either on the thighs or let them rest on the floor.

Close the eyes.

This is the final pose.

Breathe slowly and deeply with awareness.

Stay in the final pose for a comfortable duration and then return to the starting position.

Note: the final stage is the equivalent of alternative A; don’t do alternative B for this will mean that you will merely lie flat on your back. This of course can give benefits, but has no connection with matsyasana.

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