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Mermaid Pose: Benefits & Build-Up Poses

May 11, 2022 2 min read

Mermaid pose is a beautifully challenging and rewarding hip and heart-opening asana. It’s an advanced posture that requires a lot of openness through the chest, shoulders, quadriceps and hip flexors. It’s a pose that can be practiced as a progression to build up to King Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana). There are many foundational asanas that can be sequenced to prepare for mermaid pose and make this photogenic pose much more attainable.

What are the benefits of Mermaid Pose?

Practicing mermaid pose can build confidence to progress into many other advanced asanas. It also targets two areas that commonly store tension; the hips and the shoulders. The placement of the hips in mermaid pose provides an opportunity to stretch the entire pelvic area as well as the quads and hip flexors. The arm position in mermaid pose creates a lifting and lengthening of the shoulders and can increase spinal mobility.

How can you build up to Mermaid Pose?

Mermaid Pose | Mukha Yoga

To build up to mermaid pose you’ll want to practice asanas that target the chest and hips. Starting with more gentle backbends and hip openers will allow you to progress in a way that avoids injury or strain. The following poses work to prepare the body for mermaid pose.

Supported Pigeon Pose | Mukha Yoga
  • Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) Variation with Gomukhasana Arms
  • Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) with Quad Stretch
  • Extended Revolved Crescent Lunge
  • Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)
  • Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Check out our Sequence to Open the Heart and our Yoga for Happy Hips to further warm up these two target areas.

How to do Mermaid Pose: proper form + modifications

Step-By-Step :

  1. Come into pigeon pose with your right leg forward.
  2. Bend your left knee to lift your heel towards your glutes.
  3. Grab your left foot with your left hand and slide it into the crease of your elbow.
  4. Reach your right arm up, bend your elbow and bring your right hand behind your head.
  5. Slowly start to move your two hands towards one another, eventually bringing them to meet. Make sure to keep your weight evenly distributed over the center to prevent falling over onto your right hip.
  6. To release, let go of your hands and slowly let go of your foot, returning to pigeon pose.
  7. Repeat on the second side.

Victoria Maybee l Mukha Yoga
By Victoria Maybee; All Rights Reserved @2022

Victoria Maybee l Mukha YogaBy Victoria Maybee; All Rights Reserved @2022