This Asana will help one to float on water easily with Plavini Pranayama. Therefore it is called fish-pose, Matsyasana. Spread a blanket and sit on Padmasana by keeping the right foot over the left thigh and the left over right thigh. Then lie flat on the back. Hold the head by the two elbows. 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 back. 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.
Those 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 Matsyasana. Do this Asana for 10 seconds in the beginning and increase it to 10 minutes.
When you have finished the Asana, slowly release the head with the help of hands and get up. Then unlock the Padmasana.
You must practise this Asana soon after Sarvangasana. It will relieve stiffness of the neck and all crampy conditions of the cervical region caused by long practice of Sarvangasana. This gives natural massage or shampooing to the congested parts of the neck and shoulders. Further it affords the maximum benefits of Sarvangasana. It is a complimentary Asana of Sarvangasana. Rather it supplements Sarvangasana. As the larynx or wind-box and trachea (wind-pipe) are thrown open widely, this Asana helps deep breathing.
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.
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