The meaning of Matsyasana relates to the story of Manu, the first man, and his encounter with a divine fish.
The Incarnation of Vishnu as a Fish
Eons ago, while Manu was performing his ablutions in the sacred Ganges River, a small fish appeared before him.
The fish asked for protection from bigger fish and Manu kindly took it home.
Eventually, the fish grew too large and Manu returned it to the Ganges, where it continued to grow incessantly.
Then the fish revealed its true identity as Matsya, incarnation of Vishnu, destined for a divine purpose on Earth.
The Message of Protection and Gratitude
Matsya thanked Manu for his care and informed him of an impending flood that would devastate the Earth.
He instructed Manu to build an ark and fill it with seeds and animals to preserve life.
The seven seers, or Sapta Rishis, wise men widely named in Hindu legends, would also go there.
When the rains came, Matsya, now of enormous proportions, pulled the ark.
He took them to the top of the Himalayas, saving Manu and the living beings on board.
The Legacy of Protection and Gratitude
After the waters subsided, Matsya blessed Manu and encouraged him to repopulate the Earth.
He promised to return in different forms to protect the world in times of danger.
The meaning of Matsyasana
Matsya’s story reminds us of the importance of protecting the vulnerable.
It shows how even the smallest act of kindness can have an immense impact.
Matsyasana is not only a posture, but a reminder of divine grace and the power of protection.
By practicing this asana, we honor the essence of this legendary story.
Every time we practice this posture, we remember the dharma of Vişnu: support of the world.
Relax into the posture knowing that you are supported by the forces of the universe.
In turn, you reach a state of stability as a personification of the incarnation of the avatar of Matsya of Vişnu.
This deity was the one who preserved creation through the great flood.