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Malsyasana (fish pose)  

In this asana posture the shape of the body appears similar to fish in the water. Such a statement is bold as the fact is we dont recognize the posture as fish but one can float on the water without any movement in this asana. Pre Position Supine Position. Procedure 1. Spread the legs one foot apart. 2. Fold the left leg in the knee and place it on the right thigh. 3. Fold the right leg in the knee and place it on left thigh. 4. Now with the help of the elbows raise the head, curve the back backwards and place the top of the head on the floor, making the arch of the back. 5. Hold the toes of the feet with hands and continue normal breathing Position thighs and knees are completely placed on the ground. As the back is stretched in curve and head on floor, lot of weight is shifted to the head and throat is stretched. Releasing 1. Release the toes of the feet and support the shoulders with the elbows. 2. Slowly reducing the weight on the head, straighten the neck and bring the shoulders on the floor. 3. Straighten the right leg. 4. Straighten the left leg. 5. Bring back both the legs to normal position and take supine position. Duration This asana is complementary to Sarvangasana and Halasana, so should be maintained for one tenth of the period of the Sarvangasana or Halasana. Internal Effects Jalandhar Bandha in Sarvangasana pressurizes the thyroids and pituitary glands but in Matsya Bandha these glands are stretched. These opposite processes help improve the circulation in these glands assuring healthy functioning. Also the thigh and abdomen muscles are stretched systematically. Precaution The weight over the head should be taken out slowly. The support of the hands should be removed only when the head is completely ready to bear the weight. Also while releasing the position, one should avoid jerks and speedy movements. Maintain the asana until it is bearable and pleasant. Dos 1. Lift the head with the support of hands, elbows. 2. Try to rest the crown of the head on the ground. 3. While taking, releasing and maintaining the position, support the head and neck very carefully. 4. Try to keep soft cushion under the head. Simple variations - 1. One can keep the legs straight 2. The legs can be folded in swastikasana or samasana or a simple cross legged position. 3. For taking the position, one can go on the elbows from sitting position and while resting on the elbows, try resting your crown on the floor. Advanced variation - (lotus pose), try holding toes with hands without elbows resting on the ground. Donts 1. Do not move or pull or turn the neck while you are in the position. 2. Do not remove the support of the elbows to neck.
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