Eight Limbed Salutation Pose ashtanga namaskara
Begin from downward facing dog. Keep the hands and feet in the same place. Bend the knees and elbows and lower the knees, chest and chin to the floor. Grip the ground with toes and finger tips, seat pointing up, belly off ground. To exit the pose, move into cobra and/or to downward facing dog.
Visualization CommentsThis pose is sometimes called salute with eight parts. The pose is used most often used for suyra namaskara B. The name refers to the eight parts of the body in contact with the ground; two feet, two knees, two hands, chest and chin. I recommend explaining the name and meaning behind the pose to your students. This will help them to visualise the shape they are making and remind them to keep their pelvis and belly off the floor. Alternatively you might ask them to imagine they are inching across the floor like a snake, before transitioning into cobra. The focus is on the movement of the spine and arch of the back.
Technical CommentsWhen lowering the knees-chest-chin to floor, the heels of the feet will come off the floor, the feet coming onto balls of foot. The knees-chin-chin should touch the ground at the same time. The buttocks, hips and abdomen should not touch the ground. The small of the back is arched.
- Strengthens leg, chest and arm muscles
- Improves flexibility of back and spine
- Strengthens upper back and shoulders
Watch Out For:
- Dropping to belly, knees-chest and chin (practice from hands and knees)
- High blood pressure or heart conditions
- Back injuries
- From downward facing dog, lower to hands and knees, then knees-chest-chin
- From child pose, lift to hands and knees, then to knees-chest-chin
- Push-up pose (Chaturanga)
Yoga Counter Poses
- Cobra (Bhujangasana)
- Child pose (Balasana)
- Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)