How to do mermaid pose and 7 benefits of this Eka Pada Rajakapotasana variation

Mermaid pose helps to relieve stress and anxiety, and stimulates the abdominal organs. Let us tell you more benefits of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and how to do it.
View All Images A woman doing the mermaid pose
Mermaid pose has many benefits. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Published: 20 Mar 2024, 08:30 pm IST
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The mermaid pose is a variation of the one-legged king pigeon pose, also known as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana in Sanskrit. This pose is perfect for those who want to deepen their backbend and open their hips even further. When you perform the mermaid yoga asana, you should feel the fluidity of the mythical aquatic creature, and visualise your legs and hips forming the lovely tail of a mermaid. It is important to warm up your hips and thighs before attempting this pose, just like in the one-legged king pigeon position. This deep backbend posture is invigorating and energising and offers several benefits. It can improve your posture and increase flexibility, among other things. Read on to know the benefits of the mermaid pose.

What are the benefits of mermaid pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana?

Here are some of the potential benefits of the mermaid pose:

1. Increases hip flexibility and mobility

This posture deeply stretches the hip flexors, piriformis, and gluteal muscles. This helps to increase hip flexibility and mobility, says yoga expert Dr Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra.

Woman getting ready to do the mermaid pose
Warm up your body before doing the mermaid pose. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Strengthens thigh muscles

It stretches and lengthens the thigh muscles, including the quadriceps and hamstrings. This helps to make the thigh muscles stronger.

3. Improves posture

It helps to open up the chest and shoulders, counteracting the effects of sitting for long periods and improving posture.

4. Strengthens lower back

It not only stretches and opens the chest and shoulders, but also releases tension in the hips and lower back, says the expert.

5. Gives a sense of calm

The deep hip-opening and stretching in this posture can release stored tension and stress. This promotes relaxation and a sense of calm.

6. Improves digestion

The compression of the abdomen in this pose can stimulate the abdominal organs. This can potentially aid digestion and improve organ function.

7. Balances energy flow in the body

Practicing this yoga asana helps balance the energy flow in the body, particularly in the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

How to do mermaid pose?

Here is a complete guide to do the mermaid pose.


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A woman doing downward facing dog pose
The mermaid pose begins with the downward-facing dog position. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
  • Before attempting the Eka Pada Rajakapotasana asana, warm up your body, especially your hips, thighs, and back. Perform some gentle stretches such as hip openers, forward folds, and lunges, suggests the expert.
  • Start in a downward-facing dog posture with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart.
  • From a downward-facing dog, bring your right knee forward towards your right wrist, placing it as close to your wrist as comfortably possible. Your right ankle should be near your left wrist. Your right shin may not be parallel to the front of your mat.
  • Lower your hips down toward the mat. Ensure your front leg is externally rotated, with your shin angled slightly outward. Your back leg should be extended straight behind you, with the top of your foot pressing into the mat. Aim to square your hips as much as possible. This means both hip points are facing forward. If this feels too intense, you can keep your hips slightly open, but work towards squaring them over time.
  • Inhale as you lengthen your spine, lifting your chest and drawing your shoulder blades down your back. Keep your gaze forward or slightly upward.
  • If you are comfortable, raise your arms over your head. Lift your right foot and bend your right knee. Grasping the top of your right foot, place your hands over it. If you can grab your ankle, please do so. Take a deep breath out and tilt your head back until it touches your feet.
  • Stay in mermaid pose for 5 to 10 breaths, breathing deeply and evenly. Focus on relaxing into the pose and releasing any tension.
  • To come out of the pose, bring the torso forward by straightening the head and placing your palms on the mat. Then tuck your back toes and press back into the downward-facing dog. Repeat on the other side.
  • After practicing the mermaid pose on both sides, it’s beneficial to perform some counter-stretches to release any tension in your hips and lower back. Child’s pose and seated forward folds are excellent options.

There are no side effects of practicing any yoga asanas, but it is important to practice yoga with caution, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. Always consult your healthcare provider and a yoga expert before inculcating anything new in your fitness routine.

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About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

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