Yoga Poses: Astavakrasana
Take special precautions while doing any asana. If you are learning yoga, then take the advice of a knowledgeable person. Do not put any kind of force in the event of pain or unable to do so. Keep in mind that you will be able to succeed only with constant practice.
Brief Introduction Of The Astavakrasana
Astavakrasana is a type of Yoga pose that is dedicated to Sage Astavakra. This is an advanced pose which is said to arouse the Manipura chakra. The name of this asana is a blend of two Sanskrit words, ‘asta’ which means ‘eight’ and ‘vakra’ that stands for bent or curved. Thus, in English, it is referred to as the Eight-Angle Pose.
How To Do The Astavakrasana?
- Start this pose with the Dandasana, which can be a great preparatory pose for this one.
- Next, hug the right knee and ensure that it is pulled close to the chest.
- Breathe in and let your respiration open the hips up.
- Let your left leg stay extended and straight, while keeping the foot in a flexed position.
- While keeping your right knee drawn still to the torso, firmly press the palms on the surface of the ground.
- At this juncture, you have to place the right leg behind your right shoulder, in such a way that the back part of your right thigh is there on your right triceps, resting on it.
- Now draw back your shoulders, so as to engage the back part of your body.
- Breathe in and push the hands to raise the hips and legs off the ground.
- Put the left ankle latched on the right ankle.
- Breathe out and bring the shoulders ahead, so as to achieve a right angle in the elbows while swinging the feet over the right side.
- Allow your right arms to be squeezed by the inner thighs, so as to keep the legs fully firm.
- You need to engage the core muscles at this specific juncture. You might look at any fixed point on the surface of the floor before your eyes, which can help you to retain your balance.
- Keep this pose for around 30 – 60 seconds, and then release gradually.
- Rest for just a few moments while maintaining the constancy of your breath.
- Now repeat the pose with the right leg extended and the left one folded.
Benefits Of The Astavakrasana
The pose offers great benefits to the body:
- Adding strength - Astavakrasana can make the wrists and arms strong. This pose is challenging to perform, as your hips are elevated by your arms, your torso gets lowered in the posture of a push-up and your arms have legs wrapped around them. Regular practice also helps strengthen and tone the muscles of the abdomen, thus helping improve digestion.
- Helps in focusing more - It can alleviate anxiety and stress, and build balance and focus. It is about balancing the whole body, while you try to maintain grace, calm and peace, which can be extremely intimidating.As the pose is challenging, it needs much concentration and your mind and body connects very well as a result. It might be very tough to perform at first, but you should not give up. As days pass, you will be capable of doing it perfectly and experience a sense of empowerment and liveliness.
- Helps with female issues - The practice of this Yogasana can keep menstrual symptoms in check, and cure various menstrual disorders that women have to suffer. Thus, it is highly recommended for women who tend to have menstrual issues and suffer from too less or too much discharge during periods, cramps and pain during menstrual cycle and other problems.
- Aids in nervous control - With continuous practice, you can get the ability to control your nerves and get a better grip on your body and mind. Astavakrasana is said to direct energy flow to the Manipura chakra, and help practitioners to get a deeper sense of awakening and insight.
Precautions To Be Taken While Doing The Astavakrasana
- It is a posture that needs you to balance your body on an arm, and needs you to warm your wrist a little before the final attempt. With proper warm-up, you can add elbow movements, shoulder rotations, wrist rotations and much more. It can aid you in better balancing and be prepared to perform the pose perfectly. If you skip the warm-up process, there can be pain and depletion of cartilage after practicing.
- If you are suffering from injuries to the wrist, elbow or shoulder, avoid this posture. Do not strain your wrist, given that performing a tough pose like Astavakrasana with an injured wrist can only worsen it, and even damage it permanently.
- Ensure that you practice it under the able guidance of a certified and experienced yoga teacher. It is important, given that an incorrect practice of this posture can end up injuring your body.
- In case you have some problems in elevating your right leg, which makes it come up on the arm, you have to improve your flexibility, so as to be able to perform leg movement more easily.
- Do not strain yourself to perform this asana, as it will only end up injuring you. Rather, it is a good idea to practice standing poses and forward bending poses such as “Marichi's Pose” or Marichyasana I. It will give your body the conditioning and preparation that it needs in order to perform the Eight-Angle Pose.
The Astavakrasana is a challenging pose that you will love to subject yourself to, each and every day. With this specific pose, you can get the chance to push your body and get more awareness about yourself as you try to attain mastery over it. While this posture might appear to be quite challenging in the beginning, the more you practice the more you will find it getting easier for you. As it happens to be an advanced pose, you cannot expect any further advancement. But with more time and practice, you will be able to do it more smoothly.
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