Yoga pose of the month: Salamba Matsyasana, Supported Fish
Restorative yoga postures are a great practice in self-care. Each restorative invites us to maintain, relax, and receive. Salamba Matsyasana, our pose of the month, uses blocks or a bolster to stretch and stimulate the muscles of the neck, back, shoulders and belly. It releases the thoracic spine and pectorals which can reduce both neck and lower back pain. It relieves tension in the front body and it feels amazing.
Matsyasana has been called the “destroyer of all diseases.” It stimulates the organs and can be used to relieve menstrual pain, backache, anxiety and constipation. The supported version of this pose works wonders.
A powerful heart-opener, Matsyasana also:
- expands lung capacity
- strengthens the back
- helps relieve asthma
- helps regulate emotions
- opens the heart-chakra
- opens the throat chakra
All of these benefits are amplified when the pose is held for longer periods of time. Props can make this possible – and extremely comfortable.
Give it a try:
Start with a good foundation. Lie on your back on the floor with knees bent. Position a bolster or block behind your back at the bra line (just below the tips of your shoulder blades). Lower yourself slowly onto the block or bolster. Make sure your head is supported. If it feels comfortable for you, straighten your legs and keep them hips’ width apart, pressing the backs of your thighs into the floor. If it causes any discomfort in your low back, keep your knees bent and press your feet into the floor.
Find opening and expansion with each inhale. Relax deeper into the pose with each exhale. Breathe smoothly and fully. Stay in the posture as long as is comfortable.
image credit: thedownwardfacingblog.blogspot.com