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Day 13 Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Variation 

Mermaid Pose





Mermaid Pose (veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh) 

is an advanced variation of One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

Mermaid Pose is an advanced variation of One-Legged King Pigeon Pose that deepens the backbend and opens the hips even more. As you practice the pose, you can imagine that your legs and hips create the tail of a mermaid (or merman), having all of the looseness and fluidity of a sea-swimming creature.

As with One-Legged King Pigeon Pose, be sure to warm up your hips and thighs thoroughly before attempting this pose. Some good poses to try include Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), and Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana).

In yoga, you begin to understand the interconnectedness between each part of your body. Opening the hips and stretching the spine creates length and strength throughout the rest of the body. This creates a sense of coordination, grace, and ease that stays with you in all aspects of life, even outside of your yoga class. Mermaid Pose can be an uplifting way to bring flexibility and lightness

to your regular practice and beyond!


When practicing Mermaid Pose, it’s important to remain calmly focused while maintaining alignment. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:

  • The further forward your front heel is, the deeper and more intense the pose will be. You might need to bend your front knee deeply. Over time, with practice and patience, you will be able to bring your shin more parallel to the front edge of the mat.

  • Keep your front foot flexed to help protect your knee.

  • Use the strength of your legs to help lift your spine. Actively using your legs in this pose will help to prevent compression in your lower back.

  • Keep your spine actively lifting and extending throughout the pose.

  • Listen to your body and practice within your limits. Never force the backbend. Instead, be patient and practice often.


When Mermaid Pose is performed in correct alignment, it creates freedom throughout the entire front torso. It also lifts and opens the heart. This pose also provides a deep stretch to the thighs, groins, shoulders, and chest. It improves mobility in the spine and hips, strengthens the abdominal muscles, and stimulates the organs of the torso.

Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to the shoulder, knee, ankle, or sacroiliac. Also avoid this pose if you are currently experiencing high or low blood pressure, or heart disease. Those with spine or back injuries should only attempt this pose under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. Only practice this pose if you can correctly and comfortably perform One-Legged King Pigeon Pose. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.

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