How to do Astavakrasana / 8 Angle Pose – Sequence & Benefits
Yoga has been practiced in India from as long as 5000 years back and it has lots of benefits. The meaning of yoga is ‘spiritual discipline’ and it has positive effects on your body as well as your mind. Practicing yoga regularly is an excellent way to keep your body fit and healthy all through your life. It increases your physical strength as well as your mental strength. It is an easy way for improving the stability of your mind and to keep a control over your emotions.
There are many types of yoga and each set offers you specific benefits. Some of them are easy to do and even a person new to yoga can perform it. But some are more difficult and only people who are well experienced in performing yoga are able to do them. Astavakrasana is an advanced form of Yoga asana and only those who have good experience in performing yoga can do this yoga.
The meaning of Astavakrasana is eight angles pose. Asta is a Sanskrit word, which means eight. Vakra means ‘curved’ or ‘bent’. Asana is the Sanskrit word for ‘pose’. The name of this yoga asana is derived from the name of a renowned Hindu sage, Astavakra. He was the spiritual guru of Janaka. He got this name because when he was born his body was crooked in eight places.
Step by Step Instructions to do Astavakrasana or Eight Angle Pose:
- Stand on the floor in Tadasana, with your feet slightly apart. Keep the feet wider than the usual Tadasana pose. In Tadasana you have to keep your spine straight and lift your arms over your head and then stretch your whole body.
- From Tadasana you have to come down to Urttangasana pose – bend forward and touch your toes with your hands.
- Place your hands on the outside of your feet and then bend your knees slightly, so that you can slide your right hand inside. Place your right hand behind your right leg.
- Put your hand on the floor, just outside your right foot. Move your right arm from the back of your right knee in such a way that you can bring the right knee on the back of your right side shoulder.
- Next you have to try to slip your right foot to the right side and place your left ankle in such a way that both the ankles are hooked to each other.
- As you do this, you have to tilt your body a little to the left hand side. This will naturally shift most of the body weight to your left hand. So the left hand will hold more weight than the right hand.
- Now you have to try to lift your legs in the upward direction. Take care to move your legs upward only for a few inches.
- The next step is to bend your elbows a little.
- Remember to keep your knees straight. Do not bend your knees.
- Once you have attained this pose, you have to remain in this pose for about 30 seconds. Then you can release your body from this pose and relax.
- Repeat this asana for 5 times daily.
Benefits of Doing Astavakrasana:
All yoga asanas have lots of benefits. Similarly, Astavakrasana also has lots of benefits.
- Doing this posture makes your body muscles strong and also provides a good massage to different body parts like the arms, thighs, shoulders, legs, hands, wrists and the spine.
- It is also good for toning the muscles of the abdomen and the abdominal organs.
- You can increase your stamina by doing this asana.
- Astavakrasana helps in increasing the circulation of blood in the body and ensures that all parts of the body get enough oxygen.
- Your spine is stretched well when you do this asana, so it protects you from chronic related problems.
Astavakrasana / Eight Angle Pose Video:
Watch this video and figure out how to let your practice feel euphoric and light as you gain the strength required for doing Astavakrasana in a balanced way.
This is a very difficult posture and many find it hard to do. It is not possible for all to balance the body just on the palms and the toes. So, if you find it difficult to do this pose and balance your body properly, you can rest your body against the wall. So, by taking support from the wall, you can practice it and try balancing your body. Always perform this pose under the guidance of an experienced yoga instructor, till you are also well experienced. This is because if you practice the wrong posture, you may injure your body parts. If you find it hard to lift your right leg up on your arm, try to improve the flexibility of your legs and then practice. Do not strain too much to do this posture. First prepare your body with other asanas like Marichyasana and strengthen your body, so that it is ready for doing the Astavakrasana.
Eight Angle Pose Cautions:
If you are suffering from any injuries or if you have pain on the wrist, you must refrain from practicing this asana, as it will make things worse. People with slipped disc or having ant chronic back problems are also advised not to practice this yoga. If you have and medical issues and are on some medication, you have to consult your doctor or a qualified yoga teacher before you try this asana. Your yoga teacher will guide you in choosing the right yoga asana for you. You must be very careful in practicing this yoga, especially if you have any injury or pain in the shoulder or hamstrings. Do it in the correct way to get all the benefits offered by this posture.