Astavakrasana. Intro, Benefits & How To Perform

The Eight-Angle Pose, also known as Astavakrasana, is a challenging but rewarding pose that requires confidence, strength, flexibility, balance, and buoyancy. Even though Astavakrasana Yoga is a powerful way to strengthen the upper back, you should work on strengthening your core and lower back before trying it. The more stamina you have, the less likely you are to lay all of your weight into your shoulders, elbows, and wrists when you do push up. To perform this pose, try doing a pose like Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) for a few weeks or even months, as it will help you in a good position to get your upper back and core in shape to bear weight carefully.

The term Astavakrasana is derived from the Sanskrit words “Ashta,” which means “Eight,” “Vakra,” which means “Curved or Bent,” and “Asana,” which means “Posture.” In English, Astavakrasana is known as Eight Angle Pose. While performing Astavakrasana Yoga, your body will be bent in eight different regions: your neck, two feet, one chest, two hands, and two knees.

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How to do Astavakrasana Yoga?

The Eight – Angle pose is challenging; when you will first see the pose, it seems impossible, but as we know, yoga itself means possible. Here are the steps to know how to do Astavakrasana.

  • Relax into the Dandasana pose by putting your legs out in front of you.
  • Hold your right foot with your left hand while bending your right leg at the knee.
  • Place the inside of your right thigh with your right arm.
  • Hold your right foot in place with your left hand, and raise your right leg. Your right thigh must support your right arm’s upper shoulder.
  • Place the palm of your right hand firmly on the ground next to your right hip.
  • With your right arm, hook your right knee.
  • Lift your legs and hips off the ground while pressing your palms against the floor.
  • Next, hook the left ankle with the right ankle by bending your left knee. Move both of your legs to the right.
  • Keep your shoulders square while shifting your weight forward and bending your arms at the elbows.
  • Take a deep breath for 30 to 40 seconds as you look ahead.
  • Bring your legs forward and straighten your arms and trunk to release the pose. Return to the Dandasana poses with your ankles relaxed.
  • Now you can repeat the same on the other side.

Once you excel in the Astavakrasana yoga, you can try other variations, by this way, you can add stimulus to your workout and boost the benefits of this way. You can try these variations:

Hand-to-wrist Astavakrasana

In this variation, you keep your arms narrower than in the standard Astavakrasana pose. With the other palm holding the balancing wrist, your entire weight is balanced on one wrist.

Hand-to-chin Astavakrasana

This variation is executed by keeping your right elbow on the floor before you pull your body. After this, place your right palm on your chin and, with the strength of your left arm, pulls your body.

Who should avoid doing Astavakrasana Yoga?

The eight-Angle pose is an intermediate yoga pose; you will attain perfection with consistency. But there are several cases in which you should avoid performing this pose, or before attempting, you should take your doctor’s advice.

Heart Disorders and High blood pressure

 Practitioners with high blood pressure, heart conditions, or vertigo should avoid this pose because holding the body in a forward fold and maintaining balance can make breathing difficult.

Back Pain or Disc herniation

Anyone having back pain should avoid this pose because holding the body in a forward fold can hurt your back and worsen your pain.

Women in Pregnancy

Pregnant women should not do Astavakrasana yoga because it puts a lot of pressure on the pelvis and abdominal area, making breathing hard.

Any surgery or injuries

Astavakrasana, or Eight Angle Pose, puts a lot of stress on all of the body’s joints and muscles. As a result, a person who has recently undergone surgery or has been injured in any way should avoid practicing this pose. Avoiding shoulder, arm, wrist, neck, hip, knee, lower back, ankle, foot, and pelvic injuries is a contraindication. This pose should also be avoided by anyone who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Benefits of Astavakrasana Yoga

The body’s strength, flexibility, and endurance are all improved through the general practices of advanced poses. However, the same advanced poses can also be practiced to bring balance and stability to mind. Here are some of the benefits of Astavakrasana you can experience while practicing it regularly:

Strengthens and Extends

The Eight-Angle Pose, also known as Ashtavakrasana, helps to stretch and contract the following muscles: the diaphragm, the back muscles, the abdominal and core muscles, the psoas, the muscles of the pelvic floor, the gluteus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves, and the biceps and triceps. The wrists, elbows, arms and shoulders, chest, hips, knees, ankles, and spine can all be strengthened with this stretch.

Endurance and Energy

Eight-Angle Pose is a challenging arm balance pose that helps build endurance because it stays very close to the ground and does not touch the ground. It is practiced to build body strength. As a result, maintaining equilibrium is challenging and time-consuming. This endurance helps the body have more power and energy, preparing it for difficult balance poses.

Attention and Awareness

The practice can be completed with full awareness of what is required to maintain balance by overlooking the limitations and concentrating on the finer aspects of this Eight Angle Pose. While using the breath to lift the body off the floor, this awareness is directed toward the core and abdominal strength. Through this focus and awareness, students learn to lengthen their lower bodies and twist their torso while in an arm balance.

Lengthening and Toning

The abdominal muscles, the legs, arms, buttocks, hips, and sides of the back are all kept well-toned by this overall body-strengthening posture. The spine can be lengthened while still maintaining its original shape with a toned body in general.

Once you master this pose, it’s very beneficial not only for your body but will also free you from any mental issues.

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