July Pose of the Month
Matsyasana - Fish Pose
Matsy - (Fish) Asana - (Pose)
Level One Pose
I chose Matsyasana or Fish Pose for July because it helps to open up the chest and shoulders and is wonderful for improving posture. Matsyasana is one of those poses that really help to counteract the effects of daily living such as sitting at a computer, driving and using the mobile phone, to name a few. Fish pose promotes the complete opposite actions of these effects, which include; slouching forward, rounded shoulders and upper back and an excessive forward lean of the head. All these posture alignments can create headaches, compression on the spine, closes up our heart and throat chakra's; the centres of love, compassion and communication but also aesthetically a bad posture results in us appearing shorter and rounder. Now that the weather is warming up nicely, the layers have finally come off and a good posture is the quickest way to decompress the spine enabling us to stand taller therefore looking slimmer and more toned for the summer!
Matsyasana is normally done immediately after shoulderstand as it neutralises the pressure in the spine and neck but it is also a wonderful pose in its own right used for energising the body and reducing fatigue. The hot weather can be draining on the body and the thought of a fast paced practice can be off putting but a slow paced heart opening sequence can be truly energising, bringing a sense of lightness back into the body.
"Matsyasana helps you to float through life like a fish in water with a sense of ease and fluidity"
It is said that Matsyasana helps you to float through life like a fish in water with a sense of ease and fluidity. It doesn't mean that life won't throw you obstacles but you might just be able to handle them in a calmer less reactive way.
ENERGETIC AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS
Increased self confidence
Increased sense of well-being
De-stresses the body and mind
Opens the throat
Stretches the chest, abdomen, hip flexors
Stretches the intercostal muscles of the rib-cage which opens up the lungs improving breathing
Strengthens upper back and neck muscles
Improves spinal flexibility
Regulates hormonal balance in the body
CAUTIONS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS
HINTS AND TIPS
If your head doesn't touch the floor place a block under it - Your head is heavy so you don't want to let it just drop down
You can support your upper back with a rolled up blanket or a bolster if its hard for you to open up your back
Legs strong and active, press them into the floor to ground you
When you start to feel strong - you can lift the legs 45 degrees of the floor
For a restorative version place a block long ways between the shoulder blades and another block under the back of the skull (One of my favorites)