Mastering the Mermaid

Mastering the Mermaid: Tips for Perfecting This Essential Mantra Exercise

The Mermaid exercise in the Mantra method is a powerful move that combines strength, flexibility, and core stability. This exercise targets your obliques while promoting spinal mobility. Whether you’re new to Mantra or a seasoned enthusiast, these tips will help you refine your Mermaid technique for maximum benefit.

1. Set Up Properly

In this example, we will be the set up for working your Right oblique.
Begin by positioning yourself on the machine with your left knee bent and placed on the platform or carriage (depending on direction) and the right leg extended straight, and your right foot underneath the floor strap. 

  • For more support: place your left knee in a figure four in front of you.
  • For more of a challenge: place your left foot behind your right calf.

2. Engage Your Core and Obliques

Core engagement is critical in Mantra exercises. Draw your navel towards your spine to activate your core muscles. This engagement provides the stability you need to perform the Mermaid with control and precision, supporting your lower back and enhancing your overall balance.

  • Starting in a diagonal line from your head to right foot, lower your body down towards the carriage or platform (depending on direction). 
  • Then lift your body upwards, back towards that diagonal line, using your right obliques.
  • Lower and lift in a straight line, not letting the body hinge forwards or backwards.

3. Tips for Effectiveness

  • Keep the Tension
    You can place your left hand on your right oblique to feel the tension.
  • Breathe with Purpose
    Inhale deeply to prepare and exhale as you initiate the movement. Controlled breathing is essential in Mantra, as it helps you maintain focus and stability. Inhale as you lower down, and exhale as you lift back up – using your breath to deepen the intensity and support the dynamic movement of the Mermaid.
  • Focus on Lengthening
    Avoid crunching by reaching the right arm upwards towards the ceiling – not the side wall. Think more of a lengthen to lower and a reach up by engaging the obliques. The goal is to keep the obliques engaged the entire time.
  • Maintain Shoulder Alignment
    Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears throughout the exercise. This helps maintain proper alignment and prevents tension buildup in your neck and upper body. Focus on a fluid and controlled movement, allowing your shoulders to stay down and your neck long.
  • Modify When Necessary
    Mantra exercises can be intense, so it’s important to modify the Mermaid if needed. You can keep your bottom hand on the machine for extra support; or you can limit your range of motion. Find a variation that challenges you without causing strain or discomfort.
  • Maintain hip alignment
    Square your hips off to the wall in front of you and keep an upwards tension on the foot into the floor strap. Be sure not to lift up so high that your body weight shifts into the right foot – this creates tension in the right hip flexor. Keep your lower abs engaged to avoid a curve in the lower back.


  • Practice with Consistency
    Consistency is key to mastering the Mermaid in the Mantra method. Over time, you’ll notice improvements in your strength, and overall technique. Remember, progress takes time, so be patient and persistent.
  • Listen to Your Body
    Always listen to your body and respect its limits. The Mantra method is about building a strong mind-body connection, so avoid pushing too hard. Work within your range of motion and enjoy the journey of enhancing your Mermaid technique.

At Mantra Fitness, we believe in the transformative power of the Mantra method and exercises like the Mermaid. Join us for a class and experience the benefits firsthand. Our expert instructors are here to guide you through each move, ensuring you achieve the best results from your practice. Keep pushing forward and enjoy the burn!

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