Yoga Pose of the Week: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Variation


Suki Dalury in Mermaid Pose; by Zoe Zimmerman for Sundara Studios 2013

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Variation: Mermaid Pose

There are almost as many yoga poses as there are mythical creatures in the stories of our childhood, and just as many poses have mythical names. Much like myths invite our minds to see beyond the challenges we face in our everyday lives, we can perceive yoga poses with mythical names in a similar vein, distracting the yogi from the incredible challenge of doing the posture. Mermaid pose, whether a posture in a regular repertoire or new to the practitioner, is the kind of posture that invites the yogi on a new adventure every time they bring it to their mat.

Begin on hands and knees. Inhale to extend the left shin forward, with the knee on the floor outside the left hand and the left foot in front of the right thigh. Exhale to extend the right leg further back, settling deeply and evenly into both hips. Inhale to lift through the spine and exhale to twist to the left, looking over the shoulder toward the back foot. Inhale to bend the left knee and reach back with the left hand to the inside of the foot.  Walk your left foot up into your left elbow and hook the toes around the forearm, creating a strong grasp. With your next inhale stretch your right arm up toward the sky, bend at the elbow and reach back behind your head to take hold of your left hand. Inhale to build more strength drawing into the midline of your body with both legs and as you exhale scoop your tailbone toward the earth, lift your heart, and shine like a mermaid in the sea and the sun.

Hold for as long as you like, exhale to release and take the second side.