Astavakrasana…The Sage who Inspired the Eight Angle Pose

Astavakrasana the Sage bent in 8…
Asta means eight and Vakra means bent, because this sage was born with a crippled body bent in eight places. Astavakrasana was cursed by his father to be born deformed , cause Asta had disrespected him while his father was reading The Vedas. Despite his crippled body, the child was a highly intelligent, he saw his inner light and did not define himself by his physical issues. We must overcome the outside difficulties and work on the internal too.
Astrvakrasana is an arm balance, a twist, and a hip opener . It is a combination of Abdominals muscles (core), hip flexibility & mental forcus.
Although arm strength is important, your abdominal muscles are the key to elevating your hips and keeping you lifted. Core-strengthening poses such as Chaturanga, Plank, Dolphin Plank, and Boat (Navasana) pose are all excellent preparation poses.
Opening up the legs and hips with Lunges, Pigeon, Happy Baby, Baby Cradle and forward folds are also key .
Keeping the gaze focused on one fixed point (either on the ground just in front of you or toward the feet) can help with stability and mental focus. And most importantly breathe through it each step. Happy flying , Namaste!
Steps :

  1. Begin seated in Dandasana (Staff Pose), with both legs extended out in front of you.
  2. Bend your right knee in to your chest, then bring your right arm to the inside of your bent right leg. Take a hold of your right foot or ankle with both hands and begin to snuggle the underside of your right knee behind your right shoulder, as if you’re pulling on the strap of a backpack. Hook your right leg as firmly behind the right shoulder as you can.
  3. Keeping the calf of the right leg hugging firmly behind the right shoulder, place your palms down on either side of your hips. Spread the fingers wide, keep the chest lifted and the collarbone as broad as you can.
  4. Maintaining the hug of the right leg around the shoulder and the palms planted on the ground, lift your left leg and lightly cross your left ankle over your right.
  5. Keep the legs squeezing firmly and extend them as straight as you can. Engaging specifc bandhas have also been known to help in lifting and lightness, so that the total weight is not on your arms .
  6. Lift your butt off the ground and begin to bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle and extend the heart forward as if you are moving into Chaturanga (elbows over wrists).
  7. Note the tendency for the left shoulder to collapse here, and keep both shoulder heads lifted and level with one another. Stay here 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. Whenever you feel ready, repeat on the other side.

Eight-Angle pose strengthens the wrists and arms, improves balance, and tones the abdominal muscles. Given the twisting nature of the spine, this pose also aids with digestion and the elimination of toxins from the body. Practice with caution if you have wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. Break it down in steps and keep practicing with mindful body and breath awareness and I am sure it will come . And as always Namaste!!
Thea YTT 200hrs

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