Sleeping Vishnu Pose

Definition - What does Sleeping Vishnu Pose mean?

Sleeping Vishnu pose is reclining yoga posture which is also sometimes called Vishnu’s couch pose.

In sleeping Vishnu pose, the body rests on its side with the head propped up on the elbow. The top leg is then lifted, and the top arm reaches for the big toe.

This posture can be more challenging than it looks. It is helpful to visualize the grounding of the bottom side of the body when practicing the pose, or to imagine a weight grounding the bottom foot into the ground.

The Sanskrit name for this pose is Anantasana.

Yogapedia explains Sleeping Vishnu Pose

Practicing this pose offers a number of physical benefits for many parts of the body. It requires and builds flexibility in the inner groin, the sides of the body and the legs. It also requires balance and core stability, so it helps to tone the abdomen, too. It is also said to be helpful for:

  • Promoting the circulation of the blood through the leg muscles
  • Developing balance in the muscles of the pelvic region
  • Preventing hernias by toning the muscles
  • Reducing the symptoms of sciatica, hypertension and colitis
  • Curing disorders of the sex glands and urinary system
  • Reducing fluid retention in the arms or legs

Sleeping Vishnu pose should be practiced with caution or avoided altogether by those with back injuries or slipped discs. For those with limited flexibility, it can be modified by using a strap to reach the lifted leg. To help with balance, the body can be propped up on blocks, or the foot of the bottom leg can be pressed into a wall to improve stability.

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