Eight Angle Pose - Astavakrasana

Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose is one of the advanced arm balance poses in yoga. The meaning of 'asta' in Sanskrit is eight and 'vakra' is curved or bent.

It is an excellent way to develop your stability and equilibrium, while strengthening the wrists and arms. You can try coming into this posture from Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).This is because you will normally be using this extension before lifting your legs and readjusting your arms.


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Steps :

  1. You should begin by coming to the cross-legged position and making yourself comfortable.
  2. The right knee should be bent and your right foot's sole should be brought near the right buttock.
  3. Let your right arm thread below your right knee. Raise the right foot's sole off the ground, and make your shin parallel to the ground.
  4. You should attempt 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.
  5. Let both your palms be planted on the ground, while the left leg is straightened.
  6. By pressing into your palms, raise your body off the ground.
  7. Once the left leg is raised, bend the leg, and let the left ankle hook around the right one.
  8. Your torso should then be brought forward so that it becomes parallel to the ground. Then, bring both your legs to come to the right side of your body.
  9. Make both your legs straight.
  10. Remain in this posture for around 30 to 60 seconds with your breathing kept smooth and even.

    Then, bring your body back down to the ground and repeat the steps for the other side.

Precautions :

  • Avoide this posture if you suffer from shoulder, elbow, or wrist injuries.
  • Make sure that you perform this posture under the guidance of an experienced and certified yoga instructor. This is because if you perform the posture incorrectly, you may risk injuring yourself.
  • If you have difficulty in lifting up your right leg so that it comes up on your arm, you should work on the flexibility for your leg movement.
  • Avoid straining yourself to come into the pose, and instead, you should practice forward bending and standing poses like the Marichyasana I (Marichi's Pose) to prepare your body and strengthen it for the Eight-Angle Pose.

Beginner's Tip :

To perform this pose successfully, you will need strength and flexibility in the legs and hips. To develop these factors, you should practice more forward bends and standing poses. You should also strengthen the lower back and abdomen, which are also requirements for performing this pose successfully. Once you develop these areas, you will be ready to perform this posture. A good Beginner's tip For Eight-Angle Pose is to keep a bolster below your legs while you hold onto the pose, if you are not able to keep your legs in the elevated position.

Benefit To Body Part :

  • Since this pose is strenuous and advanced, it great helps in strengthening the arms and wrists.
  • Additionally, while toning the entire body, it is a good exercise for those who wish to tone the muscles of their abdomen.
Preparatory Poses :
  • Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  • Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
  • Full and Half Boat Pose (Paripurna and Ardha Navasana)
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
  • Downward-Facing Tree Pose (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
  • Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
  • Pendant Pose (Lolasana)
Follow Up Poses :
  • Shoulder-Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana)
  • Two-Handed Arm Balance (Dwi Pada Bhujasana)
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