Yoga Poses

One-legged Eight-Limbed Pose /Eka Pada Ashtanga Namaskara

Steps

One-legged Eight-Limbed Posture is an advanced variation of knees-chest-chin pose, commonly performed as part of a sun salute sequence.  In its basic form, one legged Eight Limbed posture builds strength in the core muscles and upper body.  This version provides more challenge as one leg is extended skyward. In addition to strengthening leg and glute muscles, One legged Eight Limbed pose provides a deep backbend toning the hips and back, while stretching the spine.

Begin in plank pose, with toes tucked.  Bend the elbows and lower the knees, chest and chin to the mat.  The buttocks, hips, and belly do not touch the floor.  Extend the arms one-at-a-time along the mat.  Stretch the right foot back and raise the leg upward. Point the toes.  Straighten the left leg and lift the knee off the ground.  The weight of the body is supported by the chest, chin , arms and toes. To exit the pose, lower the leg, then drop to knees. Push back to child pose or downward facing dog. Repeat other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Ground the hands, arms, chest and chin. Imagine your heart has grown roots, anchoring you to the floor, giving renewed energy to the legs.

Technical Comments

In plank, keep shoulders stacked over wrists and heels over toes. Stretch back into the heels for stability and hug the elbows to the side chest when lowering to knees-chest-chin. Slide the arms one-at-a-time along mat.  Stretch the leg back along the mat, then lift upwards, arching the back. Keep the eye gaze ahead, do not turn the head. Engage the core to keep tailbone lifted.

Benefit Comments

  • Strengthens leg, glute, back and neck muscles
  • Tones the hips and waist
  • Improves flexibility of spine

Watch Out For:

  • Compressing the neck (look ahead along the floor, keep chin on floor, do not turn head)
  • Loss of balance (practice with foot against a wall)
  • Collapsing hips (place bolster or block under hips)

Contraindications

  • Back injuries
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart conditions

Modifications

  • Keep elbows bent
  • Keep one knee on the mat
  • Practice with one foot on wall
  • Place a bolster under hips

Variations

  • One legged Chaturanga
  • One legged knees chest chin balance (bend up back leg and place foot to knee of extended leg)

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  • Child pose (Balasana)
  • Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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