Understanding the Matsya kridasana or the 'Flapping Fish Pose'!

Matsya kridasana or the 'Flapping Fish Pose' is one of the relaxation asanas in yoga. Matysa kridasana resembles a playful fish flapping its tail and fins.

The name Matsya Kridasana is derived from Sanskrit where "Matsya" means "Fish", "Krida" means " play" or "Flapping" and "Pose" is called "Asana" or "Posture".

In the final position the body looks like a fish playing in water and hence the name "Flapping Fish pose."

Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose is highly beneficial for the rest of pregnant women as by the time of 3rd trimester the tummy swells inordinately which often causes restlessness. Also, it helps in calming their mind, body and soul.

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Females in their third trimester also can practice this yoga pose with quiet ease.

This asana can be practiced with the eyes closed to maximize the restorative benefits. Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish pose helps in the activation of solar plexus or the Manipura Chakra.

This yoga pose can also be practiced as a counter pose after in reverse twisting asanas. When the body gets very tired after practicing deep twisting asanas like Matsyendrasana etc., this asana can be practiced to counter the stretches caused during such asanas.

How to Do Matsya Kridasana or Flapping Fish Pose?

  • To practice Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose, lie on your stomach on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Keep your fingers interlocked under the head while lying on your stomach to get into this yoga pose.
  • Bend the left leg sideways and bring the left knee close to the ribs to get into The Flapping Fish Pose.
  • The right leg should remain straight while getting in Matsya Kridasana.
  • To practice this yoga pose, swivel the arms to the left and rest the left elbow on your left knee.
  • If you do not find this comfortable, you can rest your arm on the floor as well to practice Flapping Fish Pose.
  • Rest the right side of the head on the crook of the right arm, or a little further down the arm for more comfort.
  • Breathe slowly and normally while practicing Matsya Kridasana.
  • Rest every part of the body and stay aware of your breath.
  • This yoga pose can be repeated with the head turned towards right also. In this case the right leg will be folded and the left leg will remain straight.
  • Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes if you are a beginner and gradually increase you time to hold the pose as per your comfort.
  • Advanced practitioners can stay in Matsya Kridasana Pose for as long as they feel comfortable.
  • Relax in the final pose and you can change sides after some time when you start feeling uncomfortable.
  • To release The Flapping Fish Pose, straighten your arm and leg and lie straight on your stomach again.

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Breathing Pattern While Being in Matsya Kridasana or Flapping Fish Pose

  • Inhale deeply while folding you leg and arm to get into Matsya Kridasana.
  • Maintain a constant and deep breathing while being in The Flapping Fish Pose. Keep inhaling and exhaling deeply while staying in the pose.
  • Exhale deeply once or twice after releasing Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose.

Awareness While Being in Matsya Kridasana or Flapping Fish Pose

  • Physical Awareness: On the physical plane, stay aware of your breath while in the pose. Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose is an ideal asana for calming the nervous system. You can stay in this pose for several minutes or as long as feels comfortable to allow the body to relax and the mind calm.
  • Spiritual Awareness: On the spiritual plane, focus on the areas of your Solar Plexus or Manipura Chakra and Ajna or The Third eye chakra while practicing Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose and you will feel the stress melting away from your body.

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Benefits of Practicing Matsya Kridasana or Flapping Fish Pose

  • Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose stimulates digestive peristalsis by stretching the intestines, stimulating the digestive system and massaging the abdominal organs and helps remove constipation.
  • This yoga pose is beneficial in relieving sciatic pain by relaxing the nerves in the legs.
  • It helps relieve backache when practiced regularly.
  • Matsya Kridasana is recommended for people whom the practice of forward bending asanas is not recommended. Such people may practice it as a counter pose after backward bending asanas.
  • Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose can also be practiced in the later months of pregnancy. Pregnant females can lie on the back as lying on the stomach may cause pressure over major veins and block the circulation.
  • It is an ideal posture for relaxing and sleeping
  • This yoga pose is also a great pose for practicing yoga nidra.
  • The bent knee and the head may be supported on a pillow for further comfort while practicing The Flapping Fish Pose
  • One of the benefits of Matsya Kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose is that it helps redistribute excess weight around the waistline.
  • It gives a gentle pull at the waist and helps to reduce waistline fat.
  • The Flapping Fish Pose also helps in relieving sciatic pain when practiced regularly.
  • Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose is beneficial in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of it.
  • It quiets your mind and prepares you for meditation
  • This yoga pose refreshes and rejuvenates you and also relieves you of stress and mild depression.
  • Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose helps in increasing flexibility during difficult situations.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Matsya Kridasana or Flapping Fish Pose

  • Avoid practicing Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose in case of severe backache
  • You should also not practice it, in case you have blocked nostrils.
  • The Flapping Fish Pose should be practice very carefully in case of vertigo.
  • People suffering from high Blood Pressure should also practice Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose carefully.
  • Persons with knee injury should take some cushioning or avoid practicing this yoga pose.
  • People with chronic heart diseases should practice Matsya kridasana slowly. Such people should not practice the asana for more than 2-3 times.
  • Persons with cervical spondylitis need to be careful with head movement while practicing The Flapping Fish Pos.
  • Do not practice Matsya kridasana if you do not feel comfortable during the practice.
  • Do not over do it if you feel pain in your body.
  • Start the practice mildly and then increase the repetitions as per your capacity.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing this yoga asana and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Matsya kridasana. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • It is most beneficial when you stay aware of the stretches while practicing Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose.

Tips While Practicing Matsya Kridasana or Flapping Fish Pose

  • Persons with knee injury should take some cushioning or avoid practicing Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose.
  • The right leg or the other leg which is not folded should remain straight while getting in Matsya Kridasana.
  • You should know your body limits and how much pain and stretch your body can bear if the stretch and pain are too much to bear, come out of the pose immediately.
  • Pregnant females should get into the pose while lying on the back rather than lying on the stomach as lying on the stomach will not be possible for a woman in third trimester of her pregnancy and is also harmful for her condition.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 19, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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