Definition - What does Anantasana mean?

Anantasana is a reclined asana that helps relieve fatigue and improve core stability.

In this asana, the body reclines on one side, and the top leg is lifted and held with the top arm, as in extended hand-to-big-toe pose (utthita hasta padangusthasana).

The name for this posture comes from the Sanskrit Ananta, which was the name of a serpent in Hindu and yogic mythology, and asana, which means "pose." According to legend, Ananta was a serpent with 1,000 heads upon whom Vishnu rested while he was in the primordial ocean. Because this posture is said to resemble his position atop the serpent, the English name for this asana is sleeping Vishnu pose.

Yogapedia explains Anantasana

It is said that practicing Anantasana regularly helps ease both mental and physical fatigue. It can thus be a very restorative and rejuvenating posture that reduces stress and tension.

Anantasana is also said to stimulate the muladhara (root) chakra, which helps activate the body's primal energy. According to yogic philosophy, this chakra is the seat where the serpent of kundalini energy is coiled, waiting to be unleashed.

This asana can be challenging for beginners because of the balance required to stabilize the body on its side. The patience and focus required for this pose are beneficial to the mind and a disciplined spiritual practice.

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