The meaning of ‘matsya’ is fish in Sanskrit. If you try to do this pose in the water you will float just like a fish without any support or help of hands and legs. The fish pose is always done with your both legs folded in Padmasana. And in the most advanced versions you will be able to raise you’re both legs around 5 to 6 inches off the mat. But it is a difficult pose for the beginners so they should work either with knees bent in sukhasana. This pose falls into the category of backbends. In backbend poses the practitioner used to raise the anahata (heart) chakra by taking the help of shoulders back then going up on both elbows. It is a classic yoga and helpful in dealing with the opening up of the upper chakra.
You have to start your pose by lying on your back; your feet should be flat on the floor, both knees bent. Take a deep breath and raise your pelvis a little off the mat then side both hands, keep your palm down, under your buttocks. Then rest your butt evenly on the backs of your both hands. Make sure to pull elbows and forearms close to the sides of your and never raise your butts off your hands as you perform this pose.
Now with a deep inhalation, firmly press elbows and forearms into the mat and then with an inhalation, raise your head and upper body off the mat. After this gently let your head fall back onto the floor. Either your crown or your head (back) will rest on the floor it actually depends upon how high you are able to arc your back and raise your chest portion. In order to avoid constricting your neck, make sure to place the minimum pressure and weight on your head.
You can either keep your knees bent or may straighten your legs. Whatever option you choose just keep in mind to keep your thighs active and pressure out through your knees and heels.
While breathing normally hold the pose for about 30 to 60 seconds. To come out of this pose exhale and lower your head and then torso onto the mat. Now pull thighs up into the region of your abdomen and squeeze. After this gradually release and relax for some time in shavasana.
This asana is helpful in improving the posture
Matsyasana stretches and stimulates the deep hip flexors and the muscles and organs of the abdomen and the neck.
This pose is helpful in strengthening the muscles of upper back as well as back of the neck.
This pose eases the tensions in the neck
Place a blanket or may be a block under your head if your crown does not come to floor comfortably.
Try to bring arms up towards the ceiling with the palms touching. Now lift your legs.