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Be Well Naturally Alice Kleinsman

An article by Rebekah Goldstein Hawes, a beautiful multi talented healer, gardener, and yoga teacher.

THE BENEFITS OF MATYASANA – FISH POSE

Fish pose (and variations of) helps to open the chest, the lungs and the throat. The pose initiates a deep full breath.

When I first learned the pose I was reminded of the posture we were taught in primary school for someone having an asthma attack - leaning backwards over a chair. Its not only during an asthma attack that most of us could use a deeper breath though!

Many people breathe shallowly, only using 50-75% of the lungs' actual capacity. This means less oxygen circulating around your system, less fuel for your body!

It's not just about breathing ... there are often emotional effects of the opening experienced during fish pose. Picture someone who is sad, depressed or shameful. Often the chest caves in, the shoulders roll forward. Fish pose counters this classic posture of folding inwards, and often the emotions follow, initiating feeling of openness, maybe even joy.

How to practice supported fish

You will need 5 minutes, a small blanket, and a clean patch of floor.

Fold the blanket and place it under your chest, but not under your head. This will create an arch in the upper back, and allow the neck and chest to open. Allow your arms to rest by your sides, your legs to stretch out and relax. If you feel a strain in your neck, the blanket is too high for you. Unfold once and try again.

Ok now that's the set-up... now here for the important part! Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Allow the breathing to be deep and smoothing. Notice your chest relaxing, and surrender into the pose. Stay here for 5 minutes or as long as it feels good. Notice how you feel afterwards, is your breathing different? Mind? Emotions?

- Rebekah Goldstein Hawes. CMT, CYT, CZB.

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