How to do Astavakrasana (Eight Angle Pose) and its Benefits

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Astavakrasana, popularly called as Eight Angle Pose is an arm balance pose with lateral twists. When you look at this pose, it seems impossible and hard to practice. It requires core and arm strength, flexibility in your hamstrings, hips and more importantly balances to practice this asana. I too thought that it’s a no for me. But, believe me, when you start practising this pose, this pose will become super easy for you. You just need patience and a yoga mat to start practising this pose.

Ashta-Eight | Vakra-Bent/Curve | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as ahsh-tah-vah-krahs-anna, Sanskrit- अष्टावक्रासन. This pose is dedicated to ancient sage Astavakra who as the spiritual guru of king Janaka. People say that when Astavakra was in his mother’s womb, his father Kagola committed many mistakes while reciting the Vedas. The unborn sage Astavakra once laughed while hearing those Vedas. His father became angry and cursed him to be born as Astavakra. He was born crooked in eight places. These crooks earned him this name as Astavakra.

Level of Asana: Advanced, Ashtanga Yoga

Stretches: Legs, arms and spine

Target areas: Wrists, Arms, and core muscles

Benefits of Eight Angle Pose

  1. This asana tones the spine and supply oxygen-rich blood flow to the spinal nerves
  2. Strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves digestion.
  3. Improves your core strength and provides balance to your body
  4. Stretches legs, arms, shoulders and builds a stable foundation for your body.
  5. Releases stress, builds confidence and concentration.
  6. This pose makes your wrists and arms strong.
  7. Therapeutic for menopause problem and menstrual disorders
  8. Learn how to be patient and surrender yourself for a better cause.

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. It’s advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher, as you might end up hurting your body, if not done in a right way. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current injury in elbows, wrists or shoulders.

Steps to do a perfect Eight Angle Pose

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Now, bend your right knee into your chest and bring the sole of your right foot to the floor. Make sure that its close to your buttock.
  3. Lift your right foot from the floor and bring your shin parallel to the ground.
  4. Place your right arm under your right knee. Bring your right knee on the right arm as high as possible. If possible, bring the knee over the right shoulder.How to do Eight Angle Pose.png
  5. Now, place both the palms on the floor on the higher side of your hips and straighten your left leg. Ensure to spread your fingers.
  6. Press your palms to lift your body which includes your left leg and foot off the floor. Remember your right leg is hugging your right arm.
  7. Bend your lifted left leg and bring the foot toward your body. Now, hook your left ankle with the right ankle.
  8. Now, bend your arms at 90-degrees to shift the weight of your torso forward and towards the floor. Move both your legs to the right so that they can be parallel to the floor.
  9. Make sure to straighten your legs as much as possible and squeeze your right arm. Now, lift your head and gaze towards your front or side. Don’t strain your neck at any moment during the posture.
  10. Your body weight will rest on your palms. Stay in this pose as you feel comfortable and then release and repeat the asana on the other side of your body.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to balance in this pose. They can use a bolster or the hip of rolled blankets to rest the bottom of their hips and outer legs.  Regular practice will surely increase the flexibility and in the process, you will learn to balance your body.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

If you can hold Chaturanga Dandasana for 30-45 seconds, then you have a fair chance to practice this asana easily as you have gained the required arm strength to practice this pose. Before jumping into this pose, ensure to warm up your body with preparatory poses to activate your muscles. Don’t be in a hurry. If you are not been able to perform this pose for the first time, then practice Chaturanga Dandasana and other preparatory poses for few days to improve arm balance and strength. Take the challenge and practice regularly.

Preparatory Poses

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Kurmasana (Turtle Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana

Navasana (Boat Pose)

Follow Up Poses

Bhujapidasana (Shoulder-Pressing Pose)

Now, you know all the benefits and how to do Astavakrasana, then why to wait. Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! More you challenge yourself and practice regularly, you will get better and better day by day. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

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Author: Rakesh Pradhan

Rakesh Pradhan is a Yogi, Blogger, Civil Engineer and a continuous learner. When he was 14 years old, one day his neighbourhood uncle asked him about Yoga and Meditation. He got so motivated about the amazing benefits of this beautiful Yoga that he started reading Yoga books, watching videos and practising yoga poses. Now, he is helping people to learn Yoga and keep them away from stress and lifetsyle diseases.