Ananta is a name of Vishnu and also of Vishnu’s couch, the serpent Sesha. According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu sleeps in the primeval ocean on his couch Sesha, the thousand-headed serpent. In his sleep a lotus grows from his navel. In that lotus is born the Creator Brahma, who fashions the world. After the creation, Vishnu awakens to reign in the highest heaven, Vaikuntha. Anantasana is found in the temple dedicated to Lord Ananta Padmanabha (Padma = lotus | Nabha =navel) of Trivandrum in South India.
- Lie flat on the back. Exhale, turn to the left and rest the body, keeping the side in contact with the floor.
- Raise the head, stretch the left arm beyond the head in line with the body, bend the left elbow, raise the forearm and rest the head on the left palm which should be placed above the ear. Stay in this position for a few seconds with either normal or deep breaths. Bend the right knee and catch the right big toe with the right thumb and the fore and middle fingers.
- Exhale; stretch the right arm and leg up vertically together. Hold the pose from 15 to 20 seconds with normal breathing.
- Exhale, bend the right knee and return to the position 2.
- Lower the head from the left palm and roll over on the back.
- Repeat the pose on the other side for the same length of time and then relax.
Effects of Anantasana
The pelvic region benefits from Anantasana and the hamstring muscles are properly toned. The asana also relieves backaches and prevents the development of hernia.
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