Fish, Shoulder Stand, and Plow: A Classic Yoga Routine

These three yoga postures are perfect compliments for each other, as they offer a nice balance of movements and counter-movements:

  • Matsyasana – Fish pose
  • Sarvangasana  – Shoulder Stand pose
  • Halasana – Plow pose

They are such a natural combination that it’s common to attend a class and find them making up the basis for the lesson plan.  Here is a yoga routine that uses these three classic poses, their supported (salamba) versions. As with any exercise that focuses on the neck region, please practice due diligence.

Routine to Loosen the Neck and Shoulders

Tadasana – Mountain pose, getting warmed up with the 3 Part Yoga Breath and an inspirational reading.

Salamba Matsyasana – The supports at the knees can be Body Rolling Balls, belts, or other students on either side of wide spread knees.

Balasana – Child pose

Ardha Padmasana – Half Lord of the Fishes (sitting spinal twist)

Interlace fingers over head – drop and relax shoulders

Parivritta Padmasana – Revolved Lotus, a gentle seated twist (both sides), breathe to lengthen the spine

Marjoriasana – Cat pose, make it a vinyasa (flow series)

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Down Dog pose, walk up to hands, grasp elbows then slowly roll up to standing

Tadasana – move from Mountain pose to Energy Sweeps (gentle side to side swinging movements from floor to ceiling)

Balasana – Three Part Yoga Breath focusing on back breathing

Virasana – Hero pose

Apanasana – Reversed Child pose, also known as Knees to Chest pose

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand pose, using a cushion under the tailbone

Salamba Halasana – Supported Plow pose, using a chair for the feet and keeping the cushion under the tailbone

Matsyasana – remove supports

Lying twists – gentle counter movements to the Three Classic Poses

Savasana – Corpse pose, end relaxation with more Three Part Yoga Breath and inspirational reading

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