SANSKRIT: Matsyasana (mot-see-AHS-anna)
DESCRIPTION: From a supine position, lying on the back, the pelvis and upper torso are arched up and lift off the earth. The head is released back and rests on the crown of the head (there should be a minimal amount of weight on the head to avoid crunching the neck). The scapulae are pressed firm towards each other. The arms are extended overhead with steepled fingers while simultaneously the legs are lifted up with the toes engaged sending prana to the extremities. The gaze is either up towards the sky or to the back of room, depending on your flexibility.
BENEFITS: A traditional text states that Matsyasana is the “destroyer of all diseases”. Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas) and the muscles (intercostals) between the ribs. Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and front of the neck. Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat. Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck. Improves posture.