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Anant asana (Lying Vishnu/Seshnag Pose)

Lie on your right side. Inhale. Bend right arm at elbow. Place palm on the side of the head, supporting it. Align the body so the head and the torso are in line with the right leg. Exhale and bend left leg at knee.

Grasp left toe with left hand. Straighten leg, so it is at right angles to the body. Continue breathing normally. If balance is a problem, as may be with beginners, do this pose lying against a wall.

Beginners may find that they tilt either side because they lack control over the back muscles and the spine. After a few weeks you may move away from such props. Also, if unable to grasp toe, try and touch the right leg where you can. People with very stiff bodies may have to keep their legs bent at the knee initially. Inhale, dropping leg back. Repeat a few times.

Relax on your back. Then repeat the entire sequence for the other side.

Caution: Those with backache or spinal problems may find this pose tough. Start in a phased manner by first strengthening the spine with simple leg lifts and lying knee hug (see Yoga for Joint Pain).

Benefits: This pose pumps the pelvic region with blood and rejuvenates the entire uro-genital system. It fights depression, anxiety and stress. Tones the legs. Is therapeutic in hernia.

Also read: Power yoga, the new fitness buzzword

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