Anantasana: The Couch Pose
In Sanskrit, the word ananta denotes the thousand-headed serpent on which Lord Vishnu rested at the bottom of the sea. According to Hindu mythology, Ananta is one of the names of Lord Vishu. Among all the asanas, the Anantasana or Couch Pose is one of the difficult balancing pose.
Benefits of Anantasana
- It is suggested that Anantasana stretches and promotes circulation in the calf and hamstring muscles, thereby strengthening them.
- This pose can tone muscles thereby preventing problems related to hernia.
- Anantasana is also believed to tone the pelvis.
- Practicing Anantasana can improve your balance.
How to Practice Anantasana?
- Lie on your back on the yoga mat.
- Turn on the side so that your right side is resting on the yoga mat.
- Bending the right elbow, rest your right hand below your head so that the fingers are pointed your chin.
- Bend your left knee.
- Try to get hold of your left big toe with the forefinger and thumb of your left hand.
- As you exhale stretch and raise your left arm and your leg up simultaneously (towards the ceiling).
- Keep both the resting leg and extended leg straight and stretched.
- Hold this position for 15-20 seconds keeping your entire body straight while breathing normally.
- Slowly bring your hand and leg down to your normal position.
- Then gently rotate and lie in supine position.
- Repeat the posture on your left side.
If you have backache problem you may not want to practice this asana as this can worsen your symptom. While stretching your hamstring, you stretch it to the point you are comfortable as, otherwise, this might cause injury.