Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
As this Asana will help one to float on water easily with Plavini Pranayama, it is called fish pose or Matsyasana.
Spread a blanket and sit on Padmasana by keeping the right foot over the left thigh and the left foot over the right thigh. Then lie flat on the back. Rest the head on the crossed forearms. This is one variety.
Stretch the head back so that the top of your head rests on the ground firmly on one side and the buttocks only on the other, thus making a bridge or an arch of the trunk. Place the hands on the thighs or catch the toes with the hands. You will have to give a good twisting to the neck. This variety is more efficacious than the former one. The benefits that you derive from this variety are a hundred times more than what you get in the previous variety.
Fatty persons with thick calves, who find it difficult to have Padmasana (foot-lock) may simply sit in the ordinary way and then practise this Asana. Practise the Padmasana first. Make it firm, easy and steady. Then take to Matsyasana. Do this Asana for 10 seconds to start with and increase it to 10 minutes.
When you have finished the Asana, slowly release the head with the help of the hands and get up. Then unlock the foot-lock.
You must practise this Asana soon after Sarvangasana. It will relieve stiffness of the neck and any crampy condition of the cervical region caused by long practice of Sarvangasana. This gives natural massage as it were or shampooing to the congested parts of the neck and shoulders. Further, it affords the maximum benefits of Sarvangasana. It supplements Sarvangasana. As the larynx or wind-box and trachea (wind-pipe) are thrown open widely, this Asana helps deep breathing. The apices of the lungs which are located just behind and above the clavicular bone (or collar bone in common parlance), receive proper air and sufficient supply of pure oxygen. The cervical and upper dorsal nerves are nourished with a good quantity of blood and toned properly. The endocrine glands, viz., pituitary and pineal, that are located in the brain are stimulated and toned also. These glands play a vital part in the physiological functioning of the various systems of the body.
Matsyasana is the destroyer of many diseases. It removes constipation. It brings down the accumulated faecal matter to the rectum. It is useful in asthma, consumption, chronic bronchitis, etc., on account of the deep breathing.