Unroll your mat yogis, it’s time to build your upper body strength. Play with balance and strength in each step of Eight Angle Pose.
Astavakrasana or Eight Angle Pose is one of the advanced arm balance poses in yoga. Astavakrasana is a Sanskrit work which makes with two words “Asta” means Eight and “Vakra” is curved or bent.
It is an outstanding way to develop your equilibrium and stability while strengthening the wrists and arms. You can begin this yoga pose from Uttanasana (Straight Forward Bend). Because you can easily be using this extension before lifting your legs and readjusting your arms.
Eight-Angle Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
Begin this yoga pose with Tadasana (Mountain Pose), spread your feet a bit wider than usual. Now exhale and bend yourself forward to Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), press your palms firmly on the ground outside to your feet. Then slightly bend your knees, slip your right arm inside and then take your arm behind the right leg. finally, press your hand to the floor just outside of your right leg. At this point, your right leg must be placed just behind the right shoulder, such that the back of the right thigh is resting on the right triceps.
Give your right knee a gentle support with your right arm by placing just below it. Pick up the left leg and lightly cross your left ankle over your right. Slowly lift the right foot’s sole off the ground, and try to make your body parallel to the ground. You should make a proper effort to bring your right knee to come up as high as possible on your right arm. The knee may even be brought over the right shoulder.
After the right leg comfortably supported on the shoulder, exhale and bend your elbows. Then you should bring your torso forward so that it becomes parallel to the ground. At this time, straighten your knees and extend your legs out on the right side, perpendicular to your torso and parallel to the ground. Compress your upper right arm between your thighs and try to twist your torso to the left. Keep your elbow close to your torso. Your eyes must look at the floor.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute. Then slowly straighten your arms, lift your torso to the right side, bend your knees, unhook your ankles and gently place your feet down to the floor. Stand back and rest in Uttanasana till your body breath keep calm. Then repeat the pose to the left side for the same length.
Sanskrit Name: Astavakrasana
Pose Level: 1
Contraindications and Cautions
- Avoid this pose if you suffer from any wrist, shoulder or arm injury.
- Make sure that you practice this yoga pose under the guidance of professional yoga teacher. This is because, if you perform this pose on your own, you may risk injuring yourself.
- If you are facing difficulty while lifting your right leg so that it comes up on your arm, then you should work on your flexibility for your leg movement.
- Avoid straining yourself to come into the pose, instead of this you can practice forward bending and standing poses like the Marichi’s Pose or Marichyasana to prepare your body and strengthen it for Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose).
Modifications for Beginners
If you are a beginner and want to perform this pose successfully, you will need flexibility and strength in your legs and hips. To evolve these factors, you should practice for more standing poses and forward bends. Apart from these factors, you should also strengthen your abdomen and lower back, which also play an important role to perform this pose successfully. A good beginner’s tip for Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose) is to keep a pillow below your legs while you hold onto the pose.
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Paripurna and Ardha Navasana (Full and Half Boat Pose)
- Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward- Facing Tree Pose)
- Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
- Lolasana (Pendant Pose)
- Bhujapidasana (Shoulder-Pressing Pose)
- Dwi Pada Bhujasana (Two-Handed Arm Balance)
Benefits of Astavakrasana
- It makes the arms and wrists strong.
- It helps to build balance and concentration
- It tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles and improves the digestion too.
- Menstrual disorders and menopause symptoms are appeased.
- The challenge of the Eight-Angle Pose helps the body and mind to build a great connect.
- It relives your body of stress and anxiety.