Anantasana : Side-Reclining Leg Lift

The name Anantasana is made of two separate Sanskrit words ‘Anant’ and ‘Asana’. While Asana just means posture or exercise, Anant means endless, never ending and infinite.  In Hindu mythology, the god Vishnu has the name ‘Anant’. There are popular images of Lord Vishnu lying in a reclining pose on his side on top of a snake. This is how this yoga pose, which looks like Vishnu’s posture, has got its name.

Anantasana - Detailed Description

Steps:
  1. Lie down on your back in a straight position.
  2. Turn towards your left hand side.
  3. Now lift up your right leg in a 90 degree angle. Place your left hand below your head in order to support it.
  4. Raise your right hand up in the air and now try to catch the toes of your right leg with your fingers.
  5. Stay in this position for about 20 seconds; count your breath and then release.
  6. Slowly turn towards the other side and repeat the same activity on the right hand side too.
  7. Do not forget to count your breath every time you switch to a new position.
  8. As a beginner it would be difficult for you to balance your body in this position. But you can certainly take help and rest your body against the wall so that it helps you to get balance. Also, if you have neck pain problems, it would be advisable to consult a doctor, physiotherapist
Benefits:
  • Anantasana is a very good exercise for stretching the muscles of your back and side torso as well as the hamstrings and the muscles of the calves.
  • Pelvic floor muscles and hip muscles are toned and abs are firmed. Additionally it strengthens armpit muscles and shoulders.
  • Anantasana increases flexibility in legs and prevents issues of hernia. 
  • This yoga exercise can be good against back pain as well. 
  • By lying on your left side, you stimulate your blood circulation which is beneficial for your heart and the supply of oxygen throughout your body. Through this proper blood circulation, even edema of legs and arms can be healed. Your digestive system also has a benefit from this pose. You shift undigested food from one side of the intestines to the other. 
  • If you suffer from light arthritis, Anantasana can help you reduce your pain. Regular practice can prevent further worsening. If you do this pose regularly, your risk of sciatica is minimalized as well. 
  • Through the movement of your leg, the yoga pose is good for your bladder and for women beneficial for the ovaries while men have benefits for their prostate glands. The whole region is working and women experience that menstrual disorders are reduced. 
  • Apart from the physical benefits already described, Anantasana also reduces mental stress and strain as well as its results. Stress related disorders such as fatigue can be prevented and also cured with a workout practice that includes this yoga exercise. 
Tips and Help:
As a beginner it can be difficult to find your balance. As a little help, you can start this practice by doing the exercise with your back to the wall which makes it impossible to fall backwards. Additionally you can keep your lower foot flexed. 
There is no need to stretch the toes far out. That would move the complete leg muscle and make you fall either forwards or backwards. 
If it is difficult for you to grab your toes with your hands, use a piece of cloth, place it over the sole of your foot and grab it to pull.
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