Astavakrasana or eight-angle pose

By TNT Bureau

Astavakrasana, also known as eight-angle pose, is an easy posture, and even beginners can do. But you have to figure out the mechanics of doing the posture.

This is an advanced arm balance pose with a twist, which wakes up your core and opens up the different parts of your body. With practice, this pose becomes very easy to do.

Benefits

This posture strengthens the wrists and arms, improves balance, and tones the abdominal muscles. When the spine gets twisted, it helps with digestion and eliminates toxins from the body.

Do not do this asana if you have wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries.

Step-by-step

If you find it difficult to balance, rest the bottom hip and outer leg on a bolster.

  • Sit in Dandasana (stick pose), with both legs extended out in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee in towards your chest, then bring your right arm inside your bent right leg. Hold your right foot or ankle with your hands and begin to snuggle the underside of your right knee behind your right shoulder. Hook your right leg firmly behind the right shoulder.
  • Keep the calf of the right leg hugging firmly behind the right shoulder. Place your palms down on either side of your hips, and spread the fingers wide. Keep the chest lifted and the collarbone as broad as you can.
  • Keep holding the right leg around the shoulder, and the keep the palms on the ground. Now pick up the left leg and lightly cross your left ankle over your right.
  • Bend your elbows to 90 degree angle and extend the heart forward as if you are moving into Chaturanga (elbows over wrists).
  • Keep the legs squeezing firmly and extend them straight.
  • Stay for 3-5 full breaths, then gently lift the torso, straighten the arms, and set your bottom back down on the ground to come out of the pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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