Anantasana (Side Reclining Leg Lift)
Anantasana (Side-Reclining Leg Lift) is considered to be a core Yoga pose that is organized in the pelvic region. Besides other things, this is a very interesting (meaning to say, tricky) balancing pose. The more stability you can create in the core, the easier it will be to balance. This Yoga pose not only tones up your abdominal muscles and organs, but also strengthens and stretches the back of both your legs and sides of your torso.
It is always advisable to try using Parighasana (Gate Pose), an excellent preparatory pose, before attempting this one. In Hindu lore, Ananta is the name of the thousand-headed serpent on which the Lord Vishnu is said to have rested at the bottom of the primordial ocean. So this is also a very restful pose.
How to do Anantasana
1. To start the pose, lie on your mat, on your right. Actively press through your right heel, flex your right ankle, and use the outside of your right foot to stabilize the posture. In case you still feel unsteady and imbalanced, prop your soles against a wall.
2. Now stretch your right arm all the way, straight out along the mat, parallel to your body. Do it in such a way that you create a long line from your heels right up to your finger tips. Then, bend your right elbow and rest your head in the palm of your right hand. Slowly let it glide along the mat, away from your body so that you are able to give a maximum stretch to your armpit.
3. Externally turn your left leg such that your toes are pointing toward the ceiling. Now, bend and draw your left knee in toward your body. Reaching across the inside of the left leg, take hold of your left big toe with your first two fingers. To secure your grip, wrap your thumb around both your fingers. In case you cannot comfortably hold your toe, feel free to loop a Yoga belt or strap around the sole of your foot and hold on to it. With a deep inhalation, stretch your left the leg up toward the ceiling.
4. Your elevated leg should angle forward a little, while the top of your left buttock should drop back. Firm up your sacrum against your pelvis; this will create a sort of fulcrum which will help you move your left leg back a little, toward a right angled position.
5. Actively press through both your heels and hold the pose for 30 – 60 seconds then gently let go of your left leg. Take a few breaths on your right side then roll over onto your left side and repeat the pose for the same length of time as you did on your right
Benefits of Anantasana Pose
- Stretches the backs of the legs and the sides of the torso
- Tones up your belly
Anantasana Yoga Pose Contraindications
- There are no contraindications to this pose. Anyone and everyone can feel free to do it.