Definition - What does Meru Akaranasana mean?
Loosely translated from Sanskrit as 'spinal bending pose,' Meru Akaranasana is a Hatha yoga pose which concentrates on the muscles of the side body.
Although it is practiced whilst laying down on one side, it can also be considered a balancing asana, as it requires a good deal of focus and stability to hold.
Yogapedia explains Meru Akaranasana
Follow these steps to practice Meru Akarasana:
- Lie down on the right side, with the legs straight and the left leg on top of the right.
- Support the head with the right arm, bending at the elbow and resting the head on the right palm. Try not to round the shoulders or slump the torso forward, instead keep the body in one plane and the spine neutral.
- Take an inhale, and as you exhale draw the left knee towards the right armpit, in order to take hold of the big toe with the middle and index finger and thumb.
- Inhale to extend the leg vertically upwards. If it is not possible to straighten the leg whilst catching the toe, hold the ankle, calf or inner thigh instead.
- Hold the pose for a few breaths, as long as feels comfortable.
- Exhale to release and lower the leg.
This completes one round on the right side, to be repeated on the left. Meru Akarasana should not be practiced with those who have kidney stones. Additionally, those with any spinal injuries or lower back problems should check with a physician before practicing this asana.
This pose provides an excellent stretch for the side body, hamstrings and inner thighs, as well as strengthening the core and improving flexibility in the hips. Meru Akarasana stimulates kidney function and can help to open the respiratory passages. The concentration required to hold this pose is calming for the mind, whilst improving balance in the body.