There are various categories of yoga asanas among which the ‘balancing and relaxing category’ is probably the easiest one. The asanas of this category help you relax your body that might be tired of the daily work or other intense asanas. Anantasana falls in this category of yoga asanas.
In this yoga pose, you have to recline your body to either left or the right side while laying down on a yoga mat. This easy pose will offer a smooth stretch to your leg muscles and the torso.
People who regularly practice this asana often experience a deep sense of relaxation in their bodies. In this guide, we are going to cover the meaning of Anantasana, its benefits, variations, and much more. If you want to add a balancing and relaxing yoga asana to your daily workout routine, read this guide till the end.
What does Anantasana Mean?
The literal meaning of the word ‘Ananta’ is infinite, endless, or boundless. In the context of its yogic meaning, Anantasana represents something that existed before the creation of time and will be there even after the time ends.
According to Hindu mythology, yoga anantasana is Lord Vishnu’s reclined position. Hence, people also know this pose as Vishnu’s Couch Pose or Vishnu asana. The celestial snake on whom Lord Vishnu reclines is said to hold this universe together and hence it is called ‘Ananta’ or endless just like the universe is.
What Are the Benefits of Anantasana?
By practicing the asana daily, you can get the following Anantasana benefits:
- Your muscles on the side of the torso get stretched and strengthened which helps in balancing your body.
- Anantasana is so easy that you can learn it using this guide or join online yoga classes.
- The asana improves blood circulation and induces relaxation in your brain.
How To Do Anantasana?
Here is an easy step-by-step guide that will help you practice Anantasana yoga the right way:
- Start the asana by first lying on your left side.
- Keep your right foot over the left foot in a symmetrical way.
- Press the left heel, spread your ankle, balance your body with the help of the foot.
- Spread out your left arm, make it parallel to the torso making a straight line from your heels to your fingertips.
- While you stretch your armpit, move your left arm out and place it on the mat.
- Raise the torso and head, rest the left part of the head in your left palm.
- Ensure that your forearm and upper part of your left hand are in a vertical position at this point.
- Rotate the right leg and then point it upside.
- Bend your knees and draw them towards the torso
- Hold the big toe of the right leg with the help of the thumb and the first two fingers.
- Breathe in, raise your leg, adjust the sacrum against your pelvic so that you can use it as a fulcrum to balance your raised leg.
- This is the final yoga Anantasana pose, hold this pose for about 30 seconds to a minute by pressing both heels. Once you get comfortable doing the Anantasana yoga pose, you can increase the time period of leg raise.
- Unlock the grip of your arms and legs, release legs using core muscles, and use the left foot to balance your body.
- Keep your right hand on your thigh’s side, and move your elbow to the side of your left torso.
- Now, breathe in, relax for a few seconds, and repeat Anantasana yoga as long as you are comfortable doing it.
Precautions And Safety Points
Side reclining leg lift pose is quite simple to learn and easy to practice and yet you have to master the pose to prevent injury and muscle strains. Here is a list of some precautions and safety points to keep in mind while practicing Anantasana pose:
- If you have spondylitis, cervical, slip disc, or any other similar condition, you should consult your doctor before adding Anantasana yoga pose to your home workouts.
- Avoid doing sleeping Vishnu pose if you have backbone conditions like scoliosis as this yoga asana can further worsen your condition instead of treating it.
- If you have an injury in the shoulder or you experience Sciatic pain, you should wait to do Anantasana pose until you are fully recovered.
Prep Poses For Anantasana
The following poses can warm up and prepare your body for sleeping Vishnu pose:
- Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
- Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
- Gate Pose (Parighasana)
Asana Tips For Beginners
To reap the most benefits, use the following tips while doing this yoga for beginners:
- Beginners often feel pressure on their necks while they rest their heads in their palms. You can engage your torso during the resting phase and reduce pressure on your neck.
- When you start this asana, you will find it a little difficult to fully stretch your legs in the first few days. Once you practice the asana regularly, your muscles will become flexible and you will be able to easily lift your legs. Until then, do not overstrain to fully stretch your legs.
What Are the Variations And Modifications of Anantasana?
Bored of doing the same asana? You can try the following Anantasana Variations and modifications:
- Use a wedge or a bolster to support your back while you are in the reclining position.
- Wrap a strap around your ankles, hold this strap instead of reaching your toes. This addition of strap to the asana will make the toe-grabbing part of the side reclining leg lift asana easier.
- Once you master the basic Anantasana pose, you can bend your right knee and bring it closer to touch the right ear. This requires more flexibility and hence challenge-up your body more while you practice Anantasana.
- If you want to make the asana easier, you can try a variation in which you do not have to raise your torso. Instead of that, you can simply rest the head inside your left arm.
Anantasana is one of those easy asanas that aid in balancing and relaxing your body. If you practice it with the right form, the asana will improve your flexibility and body balance for day-to-day activities.
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