How to master Elephant Trunk pose (Eka Hasta Bhujasana)?

Elephant Trunk pose may look like an arm focusing asana. In reality, full body awareness and strong engagement are needed to keep the form maintained. The asymmetrical balance of the legs and the muscle action needed to keep shoulder straight engages your whole body. This pose builds strength, flexibility, and balance in the legs, hips, core, chest, shoulders and neck area. Awareness of the different muscle tensions and focusing on the breathing to get comfortable makes this pose a whole body workout.

If the leg lift to the shoulder is too difficult, work on some hip opening poses first.

How to

Start with a comfortable seated position, take a few breaths and then bring both your legs forward.

Start raising one leg with the aim of hooking it behind your shoulder. Slip your corresponding arm through the back of the knee and use your shoulder to get some extra left to the leg. Play around with this and get comfortable.

Take a few breaths in that pose and then bring both your hands forward close to your thigh. Your two hands should roughly be at the same position in relationship to their corresponding hips. Inhale deeply and engage your core and both legs, making sure to flex both feet.

On an exhalation, lift strongly off the floor with your palms. Use the Hand lock (Hasta Bandha).

Once you’re in the air, the focus is on the form. Engage the straight leg all the way through the toes to make it an easier lift. Straighten your chest and lift your core to avoid dumping weight on your hands. Push through your arms for a solid base. Stay up for as many breath cycles as you can comfortably hold.

Lower yourself on an exhalation.

Return to Easy Pose and take at least five breaths before trying the other side.


  1. This pose strengthens and tones your whole body.
  2. Your stability and coordination will be tested.
  3. Arm balance poses with whole body engagement are one of the foundations of the more advanced poses.


Avoid this pose if you have any injury to the shoulder, wrist, or hip.

Stop the pose if you feel any sharp pain.

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