Traditionally Matsyasana is performed with the legs in Padmasana. Since Padmasana is beyond the capacity of most beginning students, it could be done either with the knees bent, feet on the floor, or with the legs straight pressed against the floor.
• Begin by lying on your back on floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor
• Lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and slide your hands (with your palms down) under your buttocks
• Rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands
• Tuck your forearms and elbows up close to the sides of your torso
• Continue to press your forearms and elbows into the floor as you press your scapulas into your back and lift your upper torso and head off the floor
• Place the back of your head or crown into the floor, opening your throat. Option to place a block under your heart
• Avoid crunching your neck
• Option to keep your knees bent or straighten your legs, if you straighten keep your thighs active and press through your heels
Matsyasana (fish pose) can be done while focusing on using spinal extensors (which include the psoas major on the front of the spine) or using the support of the elbows. If the support of the elbows is used, there is less work in the muscles of the torso and perhaps more ease in breathing and more expansion.
If the pose is done while focusing on the muscles that extend the spine, the neck is better protected when lifting the arms off the floor.
• Stretches the chest and the front of the throat
• Opens the pectorals, hip flexors, and intercostal muscles between the ribs
• Stimulates organs in the throat and abdomen
• Strengthens the upper back and neck musculature
• Opens the accessory muscles of breathing
• Releases tension in the thoracic spine and mid-back
• high or low blood pressure.
• Migraine and insomnia patients
• lower-back or neck injuries

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