Anantasana (Sleeping Vishnu or Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose)

English Name(s)
Sleeping Vishnu
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
anantā : “without end” or “the infinite one”
āsana: “posture”

Ananta is one of the many nicknames of the famous Hindu God, Lord Vishnu. Coincidentally, Ananta also happens to be the name of a 1000 head celestial snake, Shesha-naga. According to legends, Lord Vishnu rested on this serpent during his stay at the bottom of the primordial ocean.

In English, Anantasana is referred to as the Sleeping Vishnu Pose because it resembles the posture of Lord Vishnu while he sat on the snake. This pose requires a lot of patience and focus. If you are a beginner, then this pose can prove quite challenging.

This side reclining pose stretches the back of your legs, the sides of your torso and tones your body. This asana or yoga pose should be performed on an empty stomach, and you must ensure that your bowels are empty as well.

The best time to practice this pose is early in the morning, but if you don’t have time you can also perform it in the evenings. However, please leave a good gap between your meals and the practice.

Physical Benefits:

While practicing Anantasana, one must raise their legs with the support of their hands to ensure proper stretching of different parts of the body, i.e., hips, hamstrings, pelvic floor muscles and groin muscles.

If the stretching is done correctly, it can strengthen your hips and shoulders, making it easier for you to keep your body in the side reclined position. Also, this asana will make you aware of your body and improve your balance.

Trying to keep your body balanced while practicing the Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose can prove quite challenging, especially if you are a beginner and find it difficult to maintain focus. But regular practice of this asana will definitely increase your concentration power.

Anantasana stretches both the upper and lower body. This results in reducing fat around your tummy, legs, hips and chest area. It also improves blood circulation, thereby improving the functioning of your internal organs.

This pose also helps to relieve the symptoms of periods and menopause. The stretching and opening of hips combined with pelvic floor muscle exercises can prove to be quite beneficial for females.

Energetic Benefits:

Anantasana is perfect for creating a sense of balance, as it activates the Sacral (Swadisthana) Chakra. The balancing effect produced calms your mind and is well known for relieving mental stress. It can also alleviate fatigue and depression.

Apart from that, this pose also activates the Root (Muladhara) Chakra. This makes you feel grounded and provides a sense of security.


The Sleeping Vishnu Pose comes with many benefits. Still, some precautions should be undertaken when practicing this pose.

This asana is not suitable for people who have sciatica pain, spondylitis issues or slip disc problems. If you are dealing with such conditions, then it is recommended that you seek advice from a qualified doctor and practice this pose under the guidance of a professional yoga teacher.

Furthermore, people experiencing pain in their neck and shoulders should also avoid practicing Anantasana as it can end up hurting their body.

Going into the Pose

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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