[Pose Of the Week] Tone, Balance & Stretch with Side-Reclining Leg Lift Pose (Beginner)

Strengthen your core, improve your balance, stretch your legs, and more with Side-Reclining Leg Lift Pose…

Side-Reclining Leg Lift Pose (Anantasana) – also known as Sleeping Vishnu Pose, Reclining Vishnu Pose, or Vishnu’s Couch Pose – is a beginner-to-intermediate yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, inner thighs, torso, arms, and shoulders, and tones and tightens the core.

While it may not look that complicated, in fact, balancing in this pose is more challenging than you may think! Staying balanced in the pose helps to strengthen the back and core muscles as you stretch. If you just can’t seem to balance in this pose to start with, you can straighten your arm on the mat and rest your head on your arm rather than propping it up with your hand. If you are unable to get your leg all the way straight or to reach your toes, use a yoga strap looped around your foot and hold onto this as you straighten your raised leg. As you increase your flexibility, work towards grasping your toes in the full pose. You can also prop your back against a bolster or press the sole of your extended food against a wall to help with balance.

Those with neck, shoulder, or back injuries should avoid this pose. Always listen to your body and back off or modify if you feel any pain!

How to Do Side-Reclining Leg Lift Pose:

  1. Begin by lying on your back.
  2. Stretch your right arm to the back of your mat. Roll over onto your right side. Your head will rest on your upper arm.
  3. Bend your right arm and lift your head. Bring your right hand to cup and support your head with the fingers pointing toward your chin.
  4. Flex both feet. Keep them flexed throughout this pose.
  5. Try to keep your whole body in one line from elbow to heels. Don’t tip forward or backward.
  6. Bend your left knee and take hold of the big toe with your left hand in a yogi toe lock. (This may be where things get really tippy.)
  7. Straighten your left leg toward the ceiling as much as possible.
  8. Maintain your balance on your side without rolling.
  9. Release your toe and roll to your back. Repeat the pose lying on your left side.
Read more at VeryWellFit.com


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