The Infinity pose, or Anantasana, reminds me of dance class. Back when I took dance class, we would stretch regularly. Sometimes we were at the bar; sometimes we were on the floor.
We would lie on our sides and practice our Développés. Then, on our last one, the instructor would normally have us reach up and grab hold of our foot. After you grab your foot, you try to negotiate yourself into a deeper stretch.
Honestly, as long as you’re not too forceful in your stretch, this pose can do a world of good. It opens the hips and lengthens the hamstrings. Plus, you’ve got some side flexion, so it’s very beneficial for spinal health. If you don’t happen to have open hips or flexible hamstrings, you will want to have a yoga strap nearby to assist you.
- Use ujjayi breathing.
- Lie in a straight line on your left side with your left arm extended above your head. If you’re unable to find your balance here, bend your left knee to 90 degrees to help stabilize you. You can have your right arm along your right leg, or you can rest your hand on the floor right in front of your chest. This second option also helps you to stabilize.
- Flex your feet at the ankle.
- Lift your head and bend your left elbow. Rest your left cheek on your left hand.
- Engage your abdominals for support.
- Keeping your pelvis in neutral, bring your right knee up toward your chest.
- Loop your right pointer and middle fingers around your right big toe. Close the loop by connecting your fingers to your thumb.
- From your hip, rotate your right leg to the side. Inhale here.
- Exhale and extend your leg by reaching through your heel. Try to get your leg perpendicular to the ground. If your leg doesn’t completely straighten, you may want to use a yoga strap.
- Slide your shoulders away from your ears and relax your face, neck, and jaw.
- As you breathe, inhale to lengthen; exhale to soften.
- Allow your right leg to come closer toward your body. As this happens, your right elbow may bend. Make sure that your right toes lead the way toward the ground.
- Maintain activity in your supporting leg throughout the pose.
- Hold for several breaths.
- To come out of this pose, bend your right knee, then extend it out straight. Lower your head to the floor. Then, switch sides.
- Repeat the above steps for the other side.
Infinity Pose Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
What is your favorite way to practice side flexion? Let us know in the comments below.
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