How To Do Fish Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Fish Pose in a black tank top and yoga pants

Fish Pose is a simple yoga position that opens the front of the body and improves spinal flexibility. Fish pose is also known to stretch the psoas (hip flexors) and the intercostals as well as strengthening the muscles of the upper back and improving posture. If you want better posture or have or tight shoulders and chest muscles you should learn how to do Fish Pose.

From an outsiders perspective Fish Pose can look a bit daunting. Many photos make it look as if you need to have a “Gumby-like” spine in order to be able to do Fish Pose. The truth is that nearly anyone can do Fish Pose or at least a modified Fish Pose and it feels great. If you want you can learn this pose with a small rolled up towel or blanket under your low back for some extra support. In addition, you will have your hands under your hips to support you further. Once you feel comfortable enough you can remove either your hands, the towel, or both. In addition, you may be extra strong and looking for more of a core challenge when practicing your Fish Pose. If this is the case, pull your low belly in extremely tight and lift your feet a few inches off the floor.

Many people suffer from poor posture due to the chronic sitting in front of a computer or hunched over a phone. This creates overly tight muscles of the chest and front shoulder and overly stretched and weak muscles of the upper back. Fish Pose will help release this poor posture and train your body to open up in the front and pull your shoulders back. This will increase the health of your spine and lessen the chance for injury. Try our blog, 12 Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Back Pain for more help with this!

Here are the steps to learning how to do Fish Pose.

1) Begin in a seated position and place hands palms down under glutes so you are sitting on your hands.

2) Open your chest and shoulders and tighten your abs as you slowly lower back onto your forearms.

3) Relax your neck and lower your head back until the crown of the head touches the floor. Be careful not to put weight on your head.

4) Breathe, keeping chest and shoulders open. Hold for 30 seconds.

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