Master the Mermaid Pose in 17 Steps

Mermaid Pose

A mermaid demonstrates strength and fluidity, notes Yoga Journal. It should come as no surprise, then, that perfecting mermaid pose will provide you with greater strength, stability, and grace, and may allow you to be more lighthearted as you go through life. Before starting mermaid pose, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation.

Performing the Pose

Warming up with a few easy back bends is important before attempting this challenging yoga pose.

  1. Stand near the front of your mat with your feet together and your arms relaxed at your sides.
  2. Take a deep breath, and as you do, reach your arms overhead, stretching toward the sky.
  3. Exhale, and slowly bend at the waist, lowering your hands to the floor a shoulder-width's distance apart.
  4. Step both feet toward the back of the mat, coming into downward dog.
  5. Step your right foot toward your left hand.
  6. Carefully drop your right shin to the mat, bringing your right heel into your body, and extend your left leg behind you.
  7. Square your hips by rotating your left ribs forward, and push your left hip to the mat.
  8. Support the pose by placing your fingertips on the mat under your shoulders. Keep your arms as straight as possible.
  9. Roll your shoulders back, and take 8 to 10 deep breaths.
  10. Bend your left knee, bringing your heel toward your buttocks.
  11. Reach back with your left hand, and grasp your left foot. Take a few deep breaths in this position.
  12. Bend your left elbow, and carefully slide your left foot inside the elbow crease. Hold this position while reaching your left fingertips toward the sky.
  13. Extend your right arm straight forward, bend your right elbow, pointing your forearm toward the sky.
  14. Grasp your left hand with your right hand.
  15. Push your tailbone toward the ground, and stretch your breastbone toward the sky.
  16. Hold this position for 30 seconds, release, and return to downward dog.
  17. Repeat the steps described above, this time with the left leg forward.


In The Book of Yoga and Pilates (page 198), Christina Brown recommends that yogis who suffer from knee pain perform mermaid pose on a thick yoga mat so as to prevent excessive pressure on sore joints.

Individuals who experience tight quadriceps or experience lower back or shoulder pain may want to place only one hand behind their head when attempting mermaid pose, recommends Brown. As strength and flexibility increases, the more traditional form of the pose may be attempted.

Maximizing Mermaid Pose

There is no doubt about it - mermaid is a challenging yoga pose that will definitely test your strength and endurance. Despite its difficulty, mermaid pose can greatly enhance the daily routines of advanced yogis.

Master the Mermaid Pose in 17 Steps