Ashtvakrasana or the Eight-Angle pose was named after a noble Yogi Ashtavakra. He was the son of king Kagola who cursed him to have curves on his body when he was in his mother’s womb. In Sanskrit, Ashta means eight, and Vakra is made of bends, literally, Ashtvakra means eight bends.
It is a balancing pose and comes under an advanced series of Hatha Yoga. It is practiced after balancing on the palms which require a lot of strength on forearms and elbows. Before attempting it, it is highly recommended to practice Bakasana and Chaturanga Dandasana.
How to practice Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose?
Ashtvakrasana should be practiced in a yoga class after proper warm-up and finishing the basic series of Asanas. There should be a lot of practice of wrists movements, shoulders rotation, elbows extensions, and stretching the arms. The sequence of practicing Astavakrasana will be as follow: –
- Ashtvakrasna is balancing on palms, there should be enough practice of Crow Pose. It prepares the body to adopt the Eight-Angle pose.
- Take all your body weight on your forearms, lean forward, and pay attention to the forefingers. It is erequired to make a firm grip over there.
- After bending your elbows, twist the lower back and place one of the hips on the alternative elbow.
- Slightly lift up one of your legs, make proper balance on the palms and lift up another leg as well.
- As both legs are together, whole body weight will be shifted on the arms. It is very important to bring full attention to it.
- To hold the posture for 20 to 30 seconds, make your breath deeper and do not push the Sacrum. Enlarge your spinal cord and release pressure from the lumbar region.
Benefits of Ashtvakrasana or Eight-Angle pose
The eight-Angle pose or Astavakrasana requires a lot of strength, resistance power, balancing, and flexibility. There are many benefits of practicing Ashtvakrasana and these are: –
- It develops arms muscles and strengths the wrists and elbows.
- Astavakrasana is very effective for good shape on the Deltoid, Scapula, Triceps, Internal Oblique muscles.
- There is fast blood circulation on the abdomen which is very effective for the intestines and spleen.
- Ashtvakrasana activates the Mooladhara chakra (root channel) and Manipur Chakra (solar-plexus channel).
- Astavakrasana is highly effective in reducing back pain and getting rid of the slip disk problem.
- It makes the spinal cord flexible and allows blood to circulate on Pelvis.
- Persons who are suffering from broken wrists should not attempt it.
- Beginners should also not force themselves to practice Ashtvakrasana, it should be practice under proper supervision.
- In the case of fracture in the hand, it should not be practiced.
- In case of any hip injury, it is advisable to practice with less holding and less pressure.
Note: Eight-Angle pose is an advanced pose and is practiced in Yoga Therapy as a major tool for recovering back and shoulder injuries.