8 Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)

Eight Angle Pose: Fire up your abs for this difficult asymmetrical arm balance. Keep yourself grounded and don’t rush into any movements. This arm balance pose also requires core and arm strength. Before trying this pose, it’s important to warm up your body! Sun Salutations are a perfect warm-up exercise. They activate the major muscles in your body, as well as the muscles surrounding the spine and hips. Always remember that it’s important to properly warm up before jumping right in. This will keep your practice – and your body – safe.

How to

  1. Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the floor close to your right buttock.
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor, bringing your shin roughly parallel to the floor.
  3. Thread your right arm under your right knee. Try to get your right knee as high as possible on the right arm, maybe even bringing the knee over the right shoulder. It may take several adjustments to get the knee to its highest position.
  4. Plant both palms on the floor on the higher side of your hips and straighten your left leg.
  5. Press into your palms to lift your body, including your left leg and foot, off the floor. This is Eka Hasta Bhujasana. Your left leg needs to be engaged with the foot flexed for this to be possible. Your right leg needs to be actively hugging your right arm.
  6. Once you have the left leg lifted, bend that leg and bring the foot toward your body to hook your left ankle around your right ankle.
  7. Bend your arms to 90 degrees to shift the weight of your torso forward, towards parallel to the floor. At the same time, move both legs over to the right, parallel to the front of your mat.
  8. Straighten both legs as much as possible, squeezing your right arm. Lift your head but don’t crank your neck.
  9. To come out of the pose, straighten your arms and shift your weight back to lower to your butt with control. Repeat the pose on the other side.
Preparatory ose for 8 Angle
Preparatory pose for 8 Angle

Benefits

This powerful pose builds a stable foundation and strengthens your wrists, arms, and core.
Eight Angle Pose also builds confidence, concentration, and improves digestion. This pose provides a great opportunity to harness – and appreciate – your own inner strength.

Caution

Avoid eight angle pose if you have any wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries.


Pro Tip: If you find it difficult to balance in this pose, rest the bottom hip and outer leg on a bolster.