Side Reclining Leg Lift Yoga Pose

Side Reclining Leg Lift Yoga Pose is a core, reclined pose that targets the hamstrings and calves and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an intermediate level.

muladhara – the root chakra
related poses
How To Do Side Reclining Leg Lift Yoga Pose
  1. On the mat or floor, lie on your left side with your left arm extended up and under your head. Your body should be in a straight line from your fingertips to your feet. Reach out through the fingers and heels and press the outside of your left foot and little toe into the floor. Place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest.
  2. Firming your right hand on the floor, lift your torso up slightly to bring the left hand up to support your head. Your left arm should be bent at the elbow, upper arm planted on the ground. The line should still run from your heels up to your elbow.
  3. Rotate your right leg until your toes point up at the ceiling, perpendicular to your other foot. Bend your right knee and draw the foot in toward your groin, placing the bottom of your right foot on the left inner thigh. Hold this position until you feel you can balance in the full position, pressing your little toe firmly into the floor. Tighten your abs and draw your tailbone inward.
  4. Once you feel stable, lift your right foot and grab the big toe between your thumb and your middle and index fingers. Inhale and extend your leg up, sole of the foot facing the ceiling. Continue extending until both the leg and arm are perpendicular to the floor if possible, otherwise stop when you feel resistance in the leg muscles. Push out through the heels of both feet and firm the base of your spine into your pubic bone.
  5. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply. Release the leg and bring your hand back to the floor, then lower the leg straight down without bending the knee. Repeat on the other side.
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • If you feel unbalanced, make sure you are remembering to consistently push into the floor with your little toe and keep your lowered leg active by pressing through the heel.

If you are having trouble maintaining your balance, try doing the pose so that the soles of your feet are pressed against a wall.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, lats

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, calves

Health Benefits of Side Reclining Leg Lift Yoga Pose
  • Increases balance.
  • Tones the belly.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning



ananta: infinite, eternal, unending
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

Ananta is one of the many names of Vishnu, Supreme God of Hinduism. Ananta is also a creature in Hindu mythology, appropriately named in that he is an immortal, infinite snake. Depictions of Vishnu often include him resting on the snake Ananta. Due to the correlation with the Supreme God Vishnu, this pose is often referred to as “Sleeping Vishnu,” “Vishnu’s Couch Pose” or simply “Vishnu’s Pose.”
We are constantly researching to find more information about the history and mythology behind each pose. If you have any further information, we’d love to hear from you.