Go Fish

Five to eight, there was a knock on my door. I was still in my jammies. Fut-a-fut quickly, I jumped into a t-shirt and yoga pants and threw a scarf around my neck for the rickshaw ride as I ran down the stairs. We had to be there early.

The morning was just beautiful. Fresh new breeze that hadn’t been inhaled by anyone yet. Just the act of breathing was magnificent! Rays of gentle sunlight yawning up into the sky. The whole city was still asleep, except for the Bengali fish lovers and the yogis of course. Although we didn’t encounter much traffic, it was Sunday and the fish market was already teeming with eager Indians, jostling for their place at the counter, shouting in Marathi, “ho, ho, ye walla! yes, yes, this one!”, “vo burawalla! that big one!”, “taaza chahiye! I want fresh!” 


The sight of the fish market was overwhelming. The smell was even more so. Giant fish, fat fish, small little sardines, crab, and prawns, all spread out on ice. The four fish wallas fish men were focused. As if they each had six pairs of hands, tossing this fish and that piece into separate bowls, the tails flopping and shells cracking, blood and guts and eyeballs in clear sight, trying to serve what seemed like the never ending flow of customers.

But good business for them and good fish for us. Morning rush, the fish so fresh you just hear the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.


I kept my distance. Fish that looks like fish make me queasy and uncomfortable. Sonali saved the day, snatching up a good sized surmai for me to try out. Apparently, it is one of India’s favorite fish, light in flavor and with only one center bone to deal with.

Once I adjusted to the chaos, I crept up to watch the guys in the back cleaning the fish. So adeptly they placed each fish on the wooden slab, chopped off the head, and tossed it into the bowl. Then right below the head, around the throat area, oozed out bloody guts, which they skillfully flicked out onto the floor. Eww. And fascinating! I started to really enjoy this part the best. Then cut-cut-cut-cut-cut, rapid fire slices of fish. Into the bag and into your hands.



We grilled some up for lunch along with steamed broccoli and a glass of Sula red wine. It was amazing for so many reasons. Simple yet full of freshness and deep flavor. Soft and not at all greasy. Just wonderful. Brought me right back to my weekends in New York. First fish in five months. I had to make a wish.




Matsya means a fish, and this posture is dedicated to Matsya, the Fish Incarnation of Vishnu. Once upon a time, when the world was about to be overcome by a universal flood, Vishnu took the form of Matsya and warned everyone. He carried the Seven Great Sages and the Vedas to safety. -Light on Yoga


Why you should try it.

Stretches the entire front side body – throat, intercostal muscles, abdomen, and pelvis. Strengthens the back muscles. This pose is supposed to remove all diseases.

Convinced? Here’s how you do it.

  1. Sit in Padmasana (lotus pose).
  2. Placing your elbows on the ground, slowly lower down so that you are laying on your back.
  3. Using your elbows and your forearms, lift your spine up towards the ceiling, and try to bring the crown of your head towards your buttocks to rest it on the floor.
  4. Hold onto your feet (as shown below), or bring your arms up overhead (as shown above). 20131023-152808.jpg

If Padmasana is tough for you, here is another version to try:


  1. Lay flat on your back, hands by your sides, palms facing down.
  2. Pressing your elbows and forearms into the floor, lift your spine up towards the ceiling and move the crown of your head towards the buttocks to rest it onto the floor.
  3. Take the support of the elbows and forearms as you do this posture. Toes pointed forward. Remember to breathe.


ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA Half Lord of the Fishes Pose


Lord Shiva went to a lonely island to explain the mysteries of Yoga to his wife, Parvati. A fish near the shore heard everything with concentration. When Lord Shiva realized that the fish had learned Yoga, he sprinkled water on it, giving it the divine form of Matsyendra, Lord of the Fishes. Matsyendra then spread the knowledge of yoga around the world. Ardha means half. -Light on Yoga

 Why you should try it.

Tones abdominal muscles. Squeezes all the toxins out of you. Helps with digestion. Energizes the spine. Also destroys the most deadly diseases and awakens kundalini energy.




Convinced? Here’s how you do it.

  1. Sit upright with legs extended. Bend the right leg and bring your right leg over the left, placing your right foot outside the left knee.
  2. Bend the left leg, bringing the left heel close to the right hip, the top of your left foot touching the ground. *You can also lift your buttocks up and sit on this left heel as seen in the photo.20131023-152729.jpg
  3. Now place your right arm at the base of your spine. Keep it close to you and press this palm down firmly in order to sit up straight.
  4. Inhale, raise your left arm up. Exhale twist to the right, hooking your left elbow on the outer edge of your right knee. Use this contact as leverage to help you twist. *You can keep the palm open in the air, or you can try to reach for your left knee-whichever will help you get the best twist.
  5. Turn your abdomen, your ribs, your chest, your throat, to the right. Entire body twisting.
  6. Switch everything and do the left side.


Go fish.

Much love,

More later,


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4 thoughts on “Go Fish

  1. Vineeta

    Sonia, you are doing great. I am pretty impressed with your knowledge of Indian culture and religion and your yoga achievments. You will be very successful in your life. All the best. Love. Vineeta Talwar

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