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Mermaid Pose – Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana

Pose Summary

Mermaid Pose is an invigorating hip stretch, heart opener and backbend mixed with a bit of balance. Enjoy the process with this pose as it unfolds from breath to breath. Mermaid Pose is a variation of (King) Pigeon Pose

Yoga Collective - Mermaid Pose – Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana


Step 1

Start in Downward Facing Dog with the hips lifting up and back. Finger spread wide and the palms of the hands firmly rooted into the earth. Heels reach down towards the earth.

Step 2

On an inhale, lift the right leg up towards the sky into Three Legged Dog. Then on an exhale, step the right foot between the hands and walk the right foot over towards the left hand. Place the right shin on the earth and flex the right toes. Lengthen the left leg behind you. The left kneecap and top of the feet rests on the earth. 

Step 3

Draw the tailbone towards the back heel. Press into the fingertips and lengthen the spine. 

Step 4

Square the hips towards the front of the mat and distribute the weight evenly through them. Gently bring the thigh a little inwards towards the midline of the body. 

Step 5

Using the strength and stability of your core and legs lengthen the spine even more. 

Step 6

Place the right hand on the right thigh. Bend the left knee and reach back with the left hand to grab the inner edge of the foot. Then slowly slide the left foot on the inside of the left forearm until it rests in the elbow crease. The left foot firmly presses into the arm and the arm into the foot. 

Step 7

Maintain a long and strong spine. Extend the right arm overhead and then bend the elbow to reach the forearm in back of the head. Clasp the fingertips together. Rest the head on the forearm. 

Step 8

Square your hips and torso forward towards the short edge of the mat as much as possible. 

Step 9

Soften the gaze up slightly towards the sky. 

Step 10

To release, gently let go of the clasp and extend the left leg on the floor behind your body. Bring your hands to the earth in front of you shoulder distance apart. Tuck the left toes, and step back into Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the opposite side.


  • Stretches the thighs, groins, hips, gluteus maximus, and chest  
  • Regulate digestion
  • Tones the abdominal muscles


  • Knee, ankle, spine, back  or sacroiliac injury
  • High or low blood pressure