Sit with the legs outstretched. Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor in front of the buttocks, about half a meter 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.
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.
Merudandasana should not be practiced by people with high blood pressure, heart ailments, slipped disc, sacral infections or sciatica.