Yoga Pose How-To: Mermaid Pose

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Author: Kristine

June 16, 2020

Yoga is fantastic for the body, mind and soul. There are so many different types of practices and poses to suit whatever goal you have in mind. Increasing mindfulness, flexibility, and strength, yoga is a wonderful physical and mental workout.

Some poses, however, are more difficult than others and require detailed attention and lots of practice. One such pose is the mermaid pose. Thankfully our friend Willa-Lee of Wandering Maple Yoga has provided us with some detailed instructions to help guide you safely into this pose. Included are photos of Willa-Lee demonstrating each position in our super silky Snow Storm yoga leggings

 

FULL MERMAID

pigeon pose

Be sure your back, hip and shoulders have been properly warmed up and opened prior to attempting this pose. 

 

To begin:

Bring your right shin across the front edge of your mat, knee wider than your hip, foot flexed. 

Start with left leg reaching straight behind you, pictured below.

 

 

Roll your left hip forward to feel more balanced and even in your hips/pelvis.

Scoop up (engage) your lower abdominals, sit tall, feel your right shin and left knee rooting into the ground.

Now, bend your left knee, reach left hand back to hold onto your left foot/ankle, pictured below.

 

 

Right hand can stay on the floor in front of you for support, reach to the sky or…

Wiggle your left foot into the nook of your left elbow, left hand can clasp higher on your left shin or allow both hands to find each other behind your head.

 

 

It is very important to maintain engagement in your core, maintain the flex of your right foot and keep rooting down into the ground with everything that is touching your mat. 

 

 

VARIATIONS OF PIGEON/MERMAID

Do these as a warm-up to the fuller expression or as alternatives to build strength and flexibility if the deeper, full mermaid version is not comfortable to do yet.


PIGEON POSE

 

Bring your right shin across the front edge of your mat, knee wider than your hip, foot flexed.

Left leg reaching straight out behind you. 

Roll your left hip forward to move your pelvis more “square” to the front of your mat. It won’t go all the way, we are just looking to engage the body and support it in a more neutral position.

Press into the ground with both knees and reach long out your back foot.

Stay upward with both hands on the Earth, or forward fold supporting yourself with a block, fists under forehead or all the way to the ground.


STANDING PIGEON

 

Stand on your left foot, crossing your flexed right ankle just above your left knee. Bend your left knee (it will challenge the strength of the standing leg, but it will deepen the opening of the hip and help with stability!).

Keep your hips square, belly button into spine and torso long as you hinge forward from your hips. Hands can be in prayer position, on your hips you holding on to your right knee and foot.

Keep your body long and bright, rather than tense, then do the second side!

 


SEATED PIGEON

 

Sit on your bum with hands on the floor behind you, both knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross a flexed right foot over the left knee. 

Gently widen the right knee to the right while extending your spine to sit tall. For less intensity, bring the left foot farther away from you, for more intensity bring it closer.

Soften your shoulders, breath and do both sides. 


EASY SEAT WITH FORWARD FOLD

 

Sit with ankles crossed, doing your best to release hips and thighs (a block or pillow under the outer edge of both knees can help if this is challenging).

Keeping your spine long, hinge from your hips, aim to keep your seat on the floor.

Do the other side.

 

About Willa-Lee Reid:

Willa-Lee Reid is a certified yoga teacher, actor, travel and wellness writer and adventurer. She believes in movement, storytelling, and living a creative, kind and courageously fun life. Follow her on Instagram at @wanderingmapleyoga and on Facebook at facebook.com/ReidWillaLee/

Author: Kristine

Community Manager

I'm obsessed with outdoor adventures. When I'm not out hiking, you can probably find me up in an alpine lake on my paddleboard, trail running over mountain peaks, or shredding the slopes on my snowboard.

Favourite nature spot: Howe Sound, British Columbia



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