Deer Asana – Mrigasana Yoga Posture – Benefits, Practice and Contraindications

Common Name(s)Deer Pose, Mrigasana in Sanskrit
MeridiansKidneys, Gall Bladder, Liver, Spleen
ChakrasSacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra) , Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
ElementsWater , Earth

Have you seen a Deer in sitting position? Mrigasana, the Sanskrit name of Deer Pose, is a posture which resembles a sitting deer. As such, it is a sitting posture which involves stretches, twists and restorative influences on body. It directly affects the sacral and root chakras in the body, also called Swadisthana and Muladhara respectively and is good at regulating the Pitta and Kapha doshas, as described in Ayurveda. It helps in controlling the water and earth elements of the body. 

The meridians it affects are Gall Bladder, Kidneys, Liver, Spleen and Stomach.

Before knowing how to attain the Deer Pose, let us first look at some of its safeguards or precautions.


Contraindications or Precautions

If you are facing any knee problems, then it might affect your knee, the one that is in front, if you stretch it too much. So, you should keep that foot nearer to the groin and do not stretch much. If you are comfortable using a bolster to be placed beneath the front knee, do make use of it. 


Starting with the Pose

You can get into this pose by first sitting down in a Butterfly asana or Titli Asana.

1/9. With left leg remaining where it is, take your right leg backward.

2/9. With the front leg, which is the left leg, try making a right angle.

3/9. Slowly try and move the back foot away from hip and rest your sitting bones firmly on the ground.

4/9. Turn the torso in direction of the front foot leg and go beyond it and place the hand on ground behind the left side of body. The right hand shall be placed on the bent front knee. 

5/9. Feel the stretch around the waist, in arm muscles and around the neck region. 

6/9. Stay in this pose for some time.

7/9. Come back and sit straight. Release yourself.

8/9. Repeat the same movements by interchanging the position of hands and legs. Keep the right leg in front and move the left leg backwards with torso moving in right this time. Place the right hand on floor behind the right side of body and left hand on the front knee for attaining the balance in posture.

9/9. The right posture is attained by moving both feet apart in their respective directions from the groin or hip till the time they are seated on both the hip bones. There should be a focus on tilting of the body as well as it indicates that the right posture is not yet attained. 


Coming out of the Pose

Just do the reverse of what you did earlier to come out of the pose. Meaning, that you bring the back leg forward and straighten up your spine to get into the butterfly pose. 


Benefits of Mrigasana

Mrigasana has many benefits for the body. Some of these are given below…

1/6. If you have been doing the hip opening exercises, then Deer asana is a good counter pose to these hip-opener exercises which brings good relaxation. It is good asana to do after doing Shoelace, Swan, or Dragonfly external hip opening postures.

2/6. This is also a good way to rotate hips in a balanced manner, both internally and externally.

3/6. The pose relieves you of the problems of gas and improves the digestion process. As a result, you have less flatulence. 

4/6. For the menopausal women, this is good asana for relieving the indicators of this condition.

5/6. For pregnant women who have developed swelling in legs, this is a good posture to reduce the swelling in legs. 

6/6. Even patients of asthma and hypertension get relief with this exercises as it stretches the muscles of spine, chest and stomach lightly, opening these up. 


Counter Poses to Mrigasana

Deer Pose is done by both sides of the body, therefore, each side works as a counter pose to the other one. Therefore, the best is to work with the other one after completing the first one.

Another counter pose is the Windshield Wipers pose… This is the pose which resembles the car wipers. This pose can be attained by lying down, sitting up or reclining on elbows. The best is to do it lying down. 


For how long it should be done?

It can be done for 1 minute because it is essentially used as a counter-pose to hip openers.


Effect of Deer Pose on Joints

If you are doing the pose which include the twisting varieties then it benefits spine as well as hips.

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