The term Matsya Kridasana can be translated as 'Flapping fish pose'. This static asana (Yogic body position) serves as an excellent relaxation pose, while also having other benefits to the body and mind. Aim to practice for the same length of time on each side, if comfortable.
- Lie on the stomach
- Bend the elbows and have the fingers interlocked under the head.
- Bend the left knee to bring it close to the ribs.
- Let the left knee come close to the left elbow, right leg remains straight.
- Close the eyes and relax.
- Breathe in through the nose and out through the nose, as normal.
- When ready, change to the other side and stay for same length of time.
- Stimulates digestive peristalsis. "In humans, peristalsis is found in the contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract stimulates digetive peristalsis - In humans, peristalsis is found in the contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract." (wikipedia)
- releaves sciatic pain & relaxes nerves in the legs
- relaxes tenion in the perineum
- a good alternative counterpose after backward bends if forward bending isn't recommended
Restless Leg Syndrome
If you suffer from 'restless leg syndrome' this asana may provide relief. Also increase your intake of vegetables high in zinc, magnesium and calcium. These minerals reduce muscle spasm and nerve tension. Also ensure you do not have any sugary foods in the hours before bed.
Also increase the amount of water you drink during the day. This will help keep your kidneys and liver healthy.
If the condition persists do see a Doctor as this condition can point to something more serious if prolonged.
A trick for restless legs (I wouldn't bother with the soap trick!)
Foods high in magnesium and zinc - pepitas, seeds, nuts, tahini
Saraswati, Swami Satyananda, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, 4th edn, Yoga Publications Trust, Bihar, India, 2002.