Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga

Merudandasana - Spinal Column Pose In Yoga, How to do Merudandasana - Spinal Column Pose In Yoga, Benefits of Merudandasana - Spinal Column Pose In Yoga, Precautions, & a note for yoga practitioners

Merudandasana (spinal column pose in Yoga) is a part of the Balancing group of asanas mentioned in the book “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati that focuses on strengthening the body and increasing brain functionality. 

How to do Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga

  • Sit with the legs outstretched.
  • Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor in front of the buttocks, about half a metre apart. Holding the big toes, slowly lean backward, balancing on the coccyx.
  • Straighten the legs and arms, raising them upward. Steady the body, keeping the spine straight, then separate the legs as wide as possible. Do not strain.
  • Hold the final position, keeping the gaze focused on a fixed point.
  • Bring the legs together at the centre, bend the knees and lower the feet to the floor.

Breathing pattern while doing Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga

  • Inhale in the sitting position.
  • Retain the breath inside while stretching the legs and holding the final position. If you hold the pose for some time, breathe normally.
  • Exhale after lowering the feet.

Merudandasana  Benefits

  • This asana tones the abdominal organs, especially the liver, and strengthens the abdominal muscles. 
  • It helps to stimulate intestinal peristalsis, alleviating constipation. 
  • It tones the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, strengthens the muscles of the back and helps to realign the spine. 
  • It helps to remove tiredness from the legs, giving a feeling of lightness and balance, and is good for the knees.

Precautions while doing Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga

  • Merudandasana should not be practised by people with high blood pressure, heart ailments, slipped disc, sacral infections or sciatica.

Variation I

  • Utthita Hasta Merudandasana (raised hand and spine pose) – The instructions are the same as for merudandasana except that instead of separating the legs in the final position, bring them together.

Variation 2

  • Mukta Hasta Merudandasana (rocking horse) – Sit with the legs outstretched and the feet together. Bend the knees and bring them to the chest, keeping the feet flat on the floor.
  • Bend the arms and place the fists outside the knees.
  • Focus the gaze on a fixed point.
  • Lean backwards, simultaneously straightening and raising the arms and legs.
  • Keep the fists above the knees and the spine straight.
  • The whole body should be balanced on the buttocks.
  • Raise the legs as high as possible.
  • Maintain the final position for a short time and then return to the starting position in the reverse order. Relax and repeat several times.

Breathing pattern while doing Merudandasana – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga Variation

  • Inhale while leaning backwards and raising the legs. 
  • Exhale while placing the feet back on the floor and bringing the knees to the chest. 
  • Breathe normally if holding the position.

Precautions while doing Merudandasana – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga Variation 

  • As for merudandasana, this variation is also a strenuous practice.

Balancing Yoga Poses Series

Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga is a part of the balancing yoga poses series. The balancing yoga poses help to strengthen your hamstrings, calves, quads, glutes, and abs. These also increase brain functionality. For relief of excessive tension these practices should be held for as long as comfortable. According to science, balancing is linked to a longer lifespan. Balancing asanas improve muscle coordination and posture, inducing physical and nervous balance, and stilling unconscious movement. This conserves energy and achieves grace and fluidity of motion.

List of Balancing Yoga Poses

  1. Eka Pada Pranamasana – One-Legged Prayer Pose In Yoga
  2. Natavarasana – Lord Krishna’s Pose In Yoga
  3. Garudasana – Eagle Pose In Yoga
  4. Tandavasana – Lord Shiva’s Dance In Yoga
  5. Saral Natarajasana – Preparatory Lord Shiva’s Pose In Yoga
  6. Natarajasana – Lord Shiva’s Pose In Yoga
  7. Eka Padasana – One Foot Pose In Yoga
  8. Bakasana – Crane Pose In Yoga
  9. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Raised Hand To Big Toe Pose In Yoga
  10. Merudandasana – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga
  11. Niralamba Paschimottanasana – Unsupported Back Stretching Pose In Yoga
  12. Ardha Padma Padottanasana – Half Lotus Leg Stretch Pose In Yoga
  13. Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Half Lotus Forward Bending In Yoga
  14. Vatayanasana – Flying Horse Pose In Yoga
  15. Pada Angushthasana – Tiptoe Pose In Yoga
  16. Baka Dhyanasana – Patient Crane Pose In Yoga
  17. Eka Pada Baka Dhyanasana – One-Legged Crane Pose In Yoga
  18. Dwi Hasta Bhujasana – Two Hands And Arms Pose In Yoga
  19. Eka Hasta Bhujasana – Single Hand And Arm Pose In Yoga
  20. Hamsasana – Swan Pose In Yoga
  21. Santolanasana – Balancing pose In Yoga
  22. Vashishthasana – Sage Vashishtha’s Pose In Yoga


We hope you found this article on Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga. This pose is classified under intermediate yoga poses and has a multitude of benefits. Be mindful of the precautions while doing Merudandasana  – Spinal Column Pose In Yoga and preferably learn to do this pose in presence of a trained expert.

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The following articles are recommended for you. Apart from these, do read The Basics of Yoga, and eight limbs of yoga.

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