Matsyasana (Fish posture)
This Asana should be done immediately after Sarvangasana. The duration prescribed is one-third of the time for Sarvangasana. If one does the Sarvangasana for three minutes, this should be done for one minute. In this posture, one will derive some of the benefits of Sirshasana and Sarvangasana. In Sarvangasana there is a forward bend of the throat region, while here in this pose the neck region is stretched backward, so that fresh blood from the heart can flow abundantly to the brain where the pituitary and pineal glands are situated. During the practice of this Asana, the apices of the lungs (upper portion of the lungs) begin to function without any exertion to the body. Generally, this can be effected only after considerable physical exertion.
Sit in Padmasana on a blanket spread on the floor. Slowly go back by resting on the elbows. Arch the back by lifting the chest and trunk and bend the neck backwards. Draw the head back and rest it on its crown. Raise your hands and catch hold of the big toes and gradually increase the arch by pressing further back the position of the crown of the head and pulling the toes by the hands. Concentrate on the chest, throat, crown of the head and the rear end of the spine, with normal breathing. Retain the posture for 20 seconds to one minute i.e., one-third duration of Sarvangasana. Release the toes by resting on the elbows and rest the back of your head on the ground. Slowly get up and sit in Padmasana and release the legs one by one.
As you gain mastery over this Asana, you may gradually increase the duration of the posture. Do slow, deep breathing while in posture.
Note: Beginners who are not in a position to sit in Padmasana, can stretch their legs and practise this Asana. The palms may rest on the thighs throughout.
The chest and the dorsal regions are well expanded and breathing becomes more full. The pelvic joints are rendered more flexible. Due to the stretching of the neck, the thyroids are benefited. The spasm from the bronchial tubes are removed. This will effect some relief for the Asthma patients.