Ashtvakrasana or Eight-Angle pose was named after a great Yogi Ashtavakra. He was the son of Kagola who cursed him to have curves on his body when he was in his mother’s womb. Ashta means eight and Vakra presents bends, literally Ashtvakra means eight bends.
It is a balancing asana and comes under an advanced Hatha Yoga pose. It is practised after balancing on hands which requires a lot of strength on forearms and elbows. Before practising it, it is highly recommended to practice Bakasana and Chaturanga Dandasana.
How to practice Ashtvakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose
Ashtvakrasana should be practised in between the session after a proper warm-up and finishing the basic series of Asanas. There should be involvement of practice of wrists movements, shoulders rotation, elbows extensions and stretching the arms. The sequence of practising it will be as follow: –
- Ashtvakrasna is balancing on palms, there should be a lot of practice of Crow Pose. It prepares the body to adopt the working of the Eight-Angle pose.
- Shift all the body weight on forearms, lean forward and pay attention to the forefingers. It is very important to make a firm grip over there.
- After bending the elbows, twist the lower back and place one of the hips on the alternative elbow.
- Slowly lift up one of the legs, make proper balance on the palms and lift up another leg as well.
- As both legs will be together, whole body weight will be shifted on the arms. It is very important to pay attention to.
- To hold the posture for 20 to 30 seconds with normal breathing and not to push Sacrum. Enlarge the spinal cord and to release pressure from the lumbar region.
The eight-Angle pose or Astavakrasana involves strength, resistance power, balancing and flexibility. There are so many benefits of practising Ashtvakrasana and these are: –
- It develops more strength on the wrists and elbows.
- It is very effective for making a 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 Mooladhara (root channel) and Manipur Chakra (solar-plexus channel).
- It is highly effective in reducing back pain and to get rid of the slip disk problem.
- It makes the spine more flexible and allows blood to circulate on Pelvis.
- Persons who are suffering from broken wrists should not practice it.
- Beginners should also not force themselves to practice Ashtvakrasana.
- In the case of fracture in the hand, it should be avoided.
- In case of any hip injury, it is advisable to practice with less holding.
Note: Eight-Angle pose is an advanced pose and is practised in Yoga Therapy as a major tool for recovering back and shoulder injuries.