Hello, fellow yogis! 🙏 The Side Reclining Leg Raise, known in Sanskrit as Anantasana (named after the infinite serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines), is a sublime blend of balance and stretch. It is a pose that demands both strength and flexibility, targeting primarily the side body and opening up the hips.
Benefits of the Side Reclining Leg Raise:
- Strengthens the waist and promotes a slim profile.
- Stretches and activates the muscles in the legs, especially the hamstrings and calves.
- Enhances the stability and strength of the shoulders.
- Therapeutic for a host of conditions including colitis, peptic ulcers, and urinary disorders.
- Can be helpful in the treatment of sciatica when practiced under expert supervision.
- Stimulates and energizes the abdominal organs.
However, it’s important to approach this pose with caution if you have specific health conditions.
Breaking Down the Pose:
- Foundation: Lying on your left side ensures the body’s weight is evenly distributed. Your left leg is your anchor.
- Alignment: Your body should form a straight line from the head to the heels. This helps maintain balance and protects your lower back.
- Hand Grip: Holding the toe requires both flexibility and strength. Over time, you can advance from holding the calf to holding the big toe, intensifying the stretch.
- Breath: Deep, controlled breathing is key. Inhale as you raise your leg, exhale as you hold, and inhale as you bring the leg down.
If you can’t reach your foot, consider using a strap looped around the arch of your foot. This allows you to gain the stretch without straining.
Anantasana is a blend of beauty, grace, and strength. It not only tones and strengthens but also reminds us of the balance between effort and surrender in our practice and life. Remember to always respect your body’s boundaries and only go as far as it allows. The essence of yoga lies not in achieving the perfect pose but in the journey of self-discovery that each pose offers.
Stay connected with your inner self, and happy practicing! Namaste. 🌺🧘♂️🌿