The Fish

fish, fish pose, yogaUntil recently, I had no idea how to undertake the fish.

You know, the yogic Fish Pose.

Over the years, I’ve gotten better at Down Dog and the Plank, and strong enough to accomplish shoulder stands and to hold an Up Dog for five minutes.

But my past yoga teachers never taught Fish Pose.

When I moved from California (some say, “the” yoga state) to New England, I discovered a slow gentle yoga class that I was rather disdainful of at first. I was way beyond needing “gentle.” After all, my mornings started with four sun salutations before the sun even rose.

yoga lunge

But this wise yoga teacher just smiled as he suggested a lunge and then encouraged us to hold it for three minutes. Easy peasy I thought after one minute. Two minutes later, I wanted to crumble and weep, realizing my frailty and weakness.

But through slow breathing, meditative silences, and long poses, my body became stronger than ever.

Then the yogi introduced Fish Pose for the end of the yogic practice.

Huh? We moved onto our backs in the corpse pose, then rolled our shoulders tight behind our upper back while turning our chins up to the ceiling, top of the scalp on the floor.

fish pose, yoga

Surprisingly, this felt good.

But then came the hard part. The teacher suggested that in this position with our hearts lifted, we send our energy and love and thoughts to someone in need.

I sent out my love to my son, on the other coast, who I knew was having a tough month. Weird, but after a few minutes in Fish Pose, it seemed perfectly reasonable.

We ended the session with an Ommm, and I left the studio feeling like a rubber band.

In a good way.

I sank into the front seat of my car, knowing I needed to return to the world of deadlines and errands, when suddenly my cell phone rang. I wanted to ignore it, still savoring the peace, but peered down at the caller’s name.

My son.

He never called this time of day.

“Hello?” I said, heart racing, wondering if there was a problem.

“Hey, Mom. Just wanted to touch base.”

Before stopping myself, I shouted,  “Because of The Fish!”

Silence. Whoops.

But then he just laughed without asking me what the heck I was talking about. At this juncture in our mother-son relationship, he seemed to deem it better to not ask.

mothers and sons, yoga, adult childBut we had a great conversation.

Silently, I gave thanks to The Fish.

 

Fish and yoga images thanks to Pinterest.

 

124 thoughts on “The Fish

  1. I love this post. Given that yoga has often “saved me” and definitely inspired me, I totally relate to this post. Fish pose is a tough one, for sure. Yet, it does feel good, but it’s not easy to get into or out of. (Usually that tells me I need to do it more often, and then lo and behold, things ease up).

    Recently, after years of power type yoga I have come to really love slow yoga and yin yoga. Holding poses as you write, is not at all easy. But it is in the holding that the deepest of tissue eventually relaxes and stretches out.

    Love the phone all. Sounds familar.

    Namaste,
    Peta

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve had reason for physical therapy recently (for my concussion) and when the therapist makes me hold neck stretches for 30 seconds and more, she explains that it’s been found it takes at least that long to release a muscle, let it loosen, stretch out as you say. So now I use the 30-second count even for the poses I used to do quickly. Fascinating response in the body. Slowing down – a challenge mentally and physically, but well worth the…. STRETCH. 🙂 Now, I hope sometime you’ll write a blog post about how yoga has ‘saved’ you. ❤

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  2. Wonderful post Pam, so strong and positive. I love the story of you and
    your son, I can imagine his bewilderment at your question. Wise guy not to
    ask. 😊 . I never came across the Fish pose but will with care try it out at home.
    xo
    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know the expression “be careful what you wish for,” Jill? Well, when doing the Fish Pose, be careful who you ask to connect with! 🙂 Just kidding, but it does take emotional effort, so once a day would be too much for me!

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    • You know the challenge we’ve undertaken to be gentle with our brains as we recover from a concussion? Gentle yoga is a similar challenge to not rush the practice/poses and just take it slowly. Hope you’re having a slow relaxing healthy weekend! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh… I love how your son called after your thoughts and heart reached out to him – the power of our energies is unfathomable. He knows you too well not to ask about the mysterious Fish comment and glad you had a fulfilling catch-up. Yoga can be deceptive and the slow and seemingly easy classes are often the toughest and as to this pose, yikes, seems tricky! I’m just trying to imagine how to swallow. Wishing you a lovely weekend, Pam. hugs xx❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • The older I get, the more I realize simple is best.
      I hope you do try yoga – but the teacher makes a difference. Don’t go to one of those classes that makes yoga into a physical hard-paced challenge. It IS a challenge, but it should be a slow steady “feel-good” one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yoga, including the fish pose, has kept me sane for the last 30 years. Gone are the days of headstands and other difficult poses but I still enjoy my gentle yoga.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not surprised to learn that you’re “into” yoga, Gerlinde. I appreciate your comment about how it keeps you sane – so true for me too. Ah, back in the headstand days – mine ended when I fell and broke my toe (I know, that sounds impossible). Slow and gentle releases me much better now. 🙂

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      • You poor thing, that’s bad! Do you remember a famous yoga teacher named Judith Lasater that teaches Restorative Yoga classes . I think she still teaches, her classes are pure bliss. You lay on blankets and pillows for an hour.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I got a chuckle out of this because if I said fish pose to my son he would know exactly what I was talking about. It’s his business along with meditation. I also like that both of our sons like to check in. A great story to start the weekend off with a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I did Yin Yoga in Vancouver and learned to love it. Just what I needed during a stressful part of my life. We didn’t do the fish pose but it looks like it would be a good one, once mastered. Love the fact that your son called you just after you sent the “message”. But I was not surprised. Sending warm yoga hugs. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me know how you like Fish Pose. It’s really not difficult (but best to do once you’re toward the end of your practice and all stretched out). Hope you enjoy the peaceful feeling the pose evokes. ❤

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    • Yikes! Head stands in Pilates sounds MUCH more challenging than the Fish in yoga. Kudos to you, Marian. Pilates is so terrific for the core. You’ve inspired me – I’m off to do a plank…. for more than 30 seconds. Yikes! 🙂

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  7. Glad you got to connect with your son, Pam. I’ve never tried Fish pose, but one of these days maybe I’ll give it a try. I’ve rediscovered yoga after a couple months away from it. Wonderful story! There are so many things we don’t understand that connect us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love knowing you’re a yoga practitioner, Patricia. I wonder what your favorite pose is. You’re so right – yoga is a gift we give to our bodies AND our minds. Yoga and meditation help us be open to receiving the energy of others, I do believe.

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    • I must disagree here, rivergirl (love your blog, by the way, and your “introduction”). ANYONE can ‘do’ yoga. Just don’t get a teacher who’s 20 and thinks yoga is aerobatics. It’s the opposite. I go to a yoga class that includes a flexible 30-something, an amazing-for-her-age 80-year-old woman, and an overweight 50-year-old man. We all stretch how we can, ommm with smiles, and yes, become more flexible. 🙂

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  8. What a wonderful story and experience and coincidence! I love this kind of stuff. Being one with the universe.

    I tried yoga a few times in the past, but never managed to stick with it longer than a few months. Some poses (and fish pose is one of them) make me feel uncomfortable. Yes, I realize that if I practice a lot, it starts feeling better (I have experienced that myself) and I have also felt the positive effects of yoga, but the situation has to be right to get into a schedule. As we are living in a camper right now, it’s never going to happen again. I do still carry my yoga mat around, though, just in case. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • But I can see you eventually learning to LOVE yoga. Yes, finding a yoga teacher you can trust and a once-a-week-at-least class does help. I practice often from the comfort of my home (with mat), but not sure if you have room in your camper for a sun salutation. But you can be a Warrior in that pose, and stretch with the triangle, and goddess pose – ohhh, you would LOVE the goddess pose. 🙂

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  9. I learn about some of the best things from the blogs that I follow. I have been wanting to “do yoga” for a long time. Just maybe this will give me the impetus to join a class for older people.

    ‘In your case you fished with your thoughts and reeled in a big fish in the form of a call from your son. My goodness I can not think of a better fishing trip, also known as, the fish pose in your yoga class.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know a lot of parents who have intuition when it comes to our kids.. I have it with my daughter also. I almost always know when something is wrong before she calls me.
    I am not familiar with the Fish pose but it has been several years since I have done Yoga.
    Hope you are having a wonderful first day of Fall Pamela.. Nameste’ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You brought tears to my eyes, Pam. I am here (in the yoga state LOL) and yes, I love my yoga classes. The breakthroughs that come with particular yoga poses always shock me. I love this pose, and have had some extraordinary moments myself, but nothing would be more meaningful to me than if it was a connection with one of my children. The best reason to value yoga as a regular practice, is the opening up to connection, which manifests in a variety of ways. I think your experience is just the best, Pam. Love it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welll, the true yogic term for Fish Pose is Matsyasana, but I think just saying Fish is easier. So, what? You don’t think Lucy and her friends did any yoga ‘back then’? 🙂 I’m enjoying your book immensely, and learning a lot!

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    • T’ai chi is on my list to practice more consistently. I tried a class when I was in Hawaii two years ago. I was the only ‘student’ who turned up (it was an 8 a.m. class – on the beach). For some reason the slow-movement, which needed complete concentration even while we’re supposed to be relaxed, created a huge emotional response in me. Maybe that’s normal??? (I hope so). 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a beautiful experience, Pam!! And I´m sure your son felt the energy and love you´ve sent him even though he might not believe in the Fish. 😉 And what a handsome young man he is! I´ve tried yoga once but it was a total disaster! Went to Tai Chi instead which was just perfect for me. Now I think the first experience might have been based on the teacher, I´ve heard it really depends, and I would like to give it another go. Happy weekend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That is a great experience you’ve mentioned here. Thanks for sharing it with us. Honestly, I tried yoga but it didn’t work out for me the way I thought so I went back to my normal routine. I’m glad that many people including you practice yoga. The title of this post attracted me the most because anything that says FISH attracts me. I’m a Piscean so I’m automatically attracted to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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