by Angela Clark and Steph Creaturo
With the New Year comes new colds, coughs, and fevers. While you do not want to practice active yoga-asana when you have a fever, there are many restorative poses that can help support your immune system when you’re run down.
Supported Fish — also know as Supta Matseyasana — is a great pose for opening the chest cavity. It can also release knots and pressure that can build up between the shoulder blades when you are under the weather.
To start, grab two yoga blocks. If you don’t have two blocks, you can grab an old dictionary and/or a rolled up blanket.
The block’s placement under the shoulders is key to effectively opening this area. It takes time to find the proper placement of the block – whenever you’re using props, it takes time to find that sweet spot. You’ll know it when you find it!
Place the first block under your shoulder blades. Allow the block to make contact with the bottom tips of the shoulder blades. If the block is only on your ribs, then it is too low and you won’t find your sweet spot.)
The second block is placed under the back of your skull. You may want to set this block at the same height as the one under the shoulders, or higher if your head is feeling quite congested.
Allow the arms to fall open to the sides, somewhere between a “T” shape and low “V” shape and make sure the legs are supporting the lower back. Roll the shoulder blades under your rib cage to facilitate more opening of the upper chest.
(In the version above, Christina put her legs in Baddha Konasana and then folded and wraped a blanket around her ankles for support. Feel free to add this step, or just skip it. It probably won’t help your cold, but it does make for a nice added restorative element.)
Rest over the blocks for 3 to 5 minutes.
To exit the pose, roll off your blocks to one side, being mindful not to strain the neck or lower back and make your way back to an easy seat. Breathe in and breathe out, seeing how your chest and shoulders feel after some TLC in Supported Fish!