You might see Fish pose, Matsyasana towards the end of vinyasa or freedom flow class. This reclining backbend is great because it opens through some of the upper chakras that we do not bring awareness to often. It opens the throat chakras which governs our ability to communicate and speak truthfully and the crown chakra which is connected to wisdom and knowledge of the divine.


Stretches the chest, abdomen and front of the neck. Strengthens the upper back. Helps with seated postures, digestion, and fatigue.

How to:

  1. Lie on your mat. Your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor
  2. Press through your feet to lift your hips off the floor. Slide your hands below your buttocks with palms down then release your buttocks on the backs of your hands.
  3. Walk your elbows in toward one another so forearms are close to your torso. 
  4. Press your elbows and forearms into the mat, lift your back and head from the floor. 
  5. Press your shoulder blades into the back of your heart to arch your back. 
  6. Release the back or crown of your head back to rest on the floor, with minimal weight on your head to avoid crunching your neck. 
  7. Knees may stay bent or extend the legs out long straight down the mat. 
  8. Hold and breath for 3-5 breaths.
  9. To come out, press strongly into your forearms and raise your head off the floor. Then release your upper body to the mat and slide your hands out from beneath the hips. 

Modify it:

Try a supported version of the pose using  props (blocks, bolsters or folder blankets.) Place one prop lengthwise along the spine between the shoulder blades and the other horizontally beneath the head. Try a more active version with legs long, straight and lifted off the mat at about a 45degree angle.