yoga blog

the joy and contentment of matsyasana (fish pose)

the joy and contentment of matsyasana (fish pose)
by Juliette Snijders

Feeling a bit out of balance? Grumpy and angry? Do fish pose and you will probably feel all kind and happy.

So why is fish pose making you all happy and kind?

Speaking from my own experience, 10 breaths in fish pose always leaves me with a feeling of compassion, joy and contentment.

How can that be?

In fish pose, as you might know, is a heart opener. We create a lift in the upper back, pressing our chest up. And the chest is also the storehouse for our heart or heart chakra, also know as Anahata, the 4th chakra. When your heart chakra is open and balanced you feel love, compassion and a connection to everything and everyone around you. When your heart chakra is blocked you might tend to get angry, jealous, afraid and feeling unworthy. Just try and play and see how it feels.

Here are the steps to get into the posture:

  1. Lie on your back. Bend the knees, your feet on the floor.
  2. Arms by the sides of you body.
  3. Lift your pelvis slightly of the floor and slide your hands (palms down) underneath your buttocks.
  4. As far towards the feet as possible.
  5. Elbows close to your body.
  6. Rest your buttocks on your hands and keep them there.
  7. Keep the forearms on the floor, lift your chest and come onto your elbows.
  8. Bring the elbows as close to each other underneath your body as possible for you.
  9. Straighten your legs on the floor. Squeeze your inner thighs together and point your toes.
  10. Inhale, press the forearms and elbows into the floor and lift your chest up towards the ceiling.
  11. Bring your shoulder blades together.
  12. Your head lifts of the floor.
  13. Now gently lift the chest as much as you can and bring the top of your head on the floor.
  14. Make sure there is minimum wait in the neck.
  15. Breath! Every inhale lift the chest towards the ceiling. Gaze back or close your eyes and look between your eyes.
  16. Take 10 deep breaths.
  17. Release the posture by lifting the head and bringing the back of your head on the floor. Bring the elbows to the side and release your arms. Rest your whole body on the floor in Savasana.
  18. Enjoy the effects of fish!


(1) Modifications (how to make the posture more accessible)

For restorative poses you can support your back with a bolster or rolled blanket.

(2) Contradictions (be careful if you suffer from the following)


High blood pressure

Neck issues

(3) Benefits

Good for constipation, respiratory system, fatigue, anxiety.

Opens the heart and chest.


Evolation yoga is devoted to helping you become more Self-centered – in an ego-free way. By combining the powerful physical properties of hot yoga with the awareness-enhancing effects of meditation, evolation’s aim is to make you healthier, happier, and more in touch with that elusive little thing called the Self.