Monday, June 24, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga Monday Morning Yoga Pose

Dive into Fish Pose to find endless healing properties inspired by the vast ocean. Fish Pose or Matsyasana is traditionally known as the “destroyer of all diseases” because of its many benefits.  The stress of the day and slumping over in a chair or in a car, can take a toll on the back, neck, and shoulders. Create physical opening in the back, neck, and shoulder area in Fish Pose, and reinstate a feeling of balance, feeling more grounded, and allowing us to feel confident and open to new experiences and people that pass in and out of our lives. 

The benefits of Fish Pose include: expanding and opening in the chest and the ribcage, expanding the lung capacity, stretching the hip flexors, strengthening the muscles in the neck and back, relieving pressure on the nerves, stretching the throat and the belly, promoting good posture and stimulating the thyroid and parathyroid glands (endocrine glands helping to regulate metabolism, growth, and sleep patterns).

To do the posture: Come to a seat with the legs extended in front of you. Shimmy your hands under your buttocks one at a time, palms facing downward. Point your toes, firm your belly, and begin to press one elbow/forearm into the earth and lift the chest and head carefully. Release the crown/top of the head or back of the head, whichever is available, towards the earth. Careful not to place too much weight on the head and neck, no “crunching” on the cervical spine/neck.Option to use a blanket under the head if more comfortable to assist while carefully releasing the head. Release your shoulder blades behind your back and open the chest, drawing your heart forward and open. Feel the opening in the throat and stretch, lengthening along the entire front line of the body. Breathe here for 3-5 full rounds of breath, inhales and exhales.

Another option to gradually work towards fish pose: try bringing a block or rolled towel under your mid/upper back along the bottom of the shoulder blades, and over time work into full fish pose. Option to bring a folded towel or blanket under the head can also provide for comfort and relaxation in the pose. 

Bring the arms over the head and hook the fingers at the elbows. Allow the shoulders to open and chest to expand. Feel the length and space created in the neck. Stay here and breathe 3-5 full inhales and exhales. Relax, soften, and let-go of unnecessary worries and stress.

While in this “vulnerable” place, allow yourself to feel open and aware to the expansion of the area in the heart where we tend to close ourselves off from relationships out of fear due to past hurt and pain. Envision the chest opening to new experiences and opportunities endless to that of the large, vast ocean, the home of the fish. Surrender to the breath, releasing the need to feel in control, and notice feelings and sensations in the body that may come up and without judgement and allow those feelings to dissipate. Quiet the mind and remain focused on the breath.

To come out of the posture: Press the elbows/forearms into the earth and begin to lift the chest and the head. Carefully straighten out the neck bringing the chin closer to the chest, and place the upper back and head back down onto the earth. Take a moment and breathe, allowing the benefits of the posture to settle in and allow the breath to come back to normal.

Feel a moment of gratitude towards yourself for taking the time to bring balance and health back to your day. Feel open, aware, and prepared for whatever the universe has in store be it at land or at sea.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga- Contact for more info. Go to for class schedule and privates.

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