Today’s fun pose is brought to you be Amanda Credeur. Come check out Amanda’s classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. For the schedule of classes click here.
Asta means eight, vakra means bent or curved (angle), and asana means pose.
This pose includes a forward fold, twist, hip opener/leg extension, and arm balance all rolled into one. Keep an open mind when practicing (just have fun with it!) and you’ll gain increased core and arm strength, enjoy a deep twist, gain flexibility in the hips and hamstrings and get a huge confidence boost. Before you try this pose, you should do a few rounds of sun salutations, warrior 1, warrior 2, extended side angle, low lunge and lizard. After you’re done practicing eight angle pose, enjoy a cool down of child’s pose, happy baby and corpse pose. Please do not practice this pose if you have any injuries in your hands, arms or shoulders. If you have knee injuries you can keep your knees bent as much as you need to in this pose.
Let’s start on the right side!
Sit up straight, with your legs stretched out in front of you. Grab your right foot with both hands and gently bend your knee toward your chest; put your knee under your arm pit. Slide your right arm on the inside of your thigh, under your calf, and put your right hand on the floor. If you can manage, put your left hand on the floor (both hands on either side of your hips); if that doesn’t feel stable, keep holding your foot with the opposite hand. Grounding down through your hips and your hands, lengthen your leg for 3-5 breaths, and then let your leg go.
Bend your knees, putting your feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand between your legs, twist to the left. Pressing your hands through the floor, keep twisting and bending your elbows. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Cross your left leg (bottom leg) over your right ankle (top ankle). Squeeze your arm with your thighs. No, really; sqeeeeeeeze your arm and start engaging your inner core muscles (root lock/mula bandh anyone?).
Pressing into your hands (fingertips are important!), use your feet for support to lift your hips off the floor. Remember: bend your elbows, open your chest toward the floor.
Press your feet and hands into the floor and lift your hips up; try to keep your shoulders level with each other by dropping the shoulder with your leg on it, and lifting the free shoulder up.
If you feel confident enough, lift your feet off the floor by stretching the legs out (you can keep a bend in the knees). Lifting with your thighs won’t get your far; you have to use those inner core muscles and work on the balance of the pose between your hips and your feet.
Relax, and sit back down. Readjust in the twist to set up for one more try. Make sure your thighs are squeezing your upper arm (above your elbow).
Lift your feet off the floor, and extend through the heels. Keep your feet lifting tot the ceiling and use your hands and abs to lift your hips off the floor.
Slowly lower your chest to the floor by lifting your hips up. Press your tailbone back, and press your heels away from you. It’s a balancing act of opening the chest, lifting the hips, and extending the legs…. try to keep your shoulders level. Look forward, breathe and smile! Slowly sit back down. Do child’s pose, downward facing dog, and then repeat on the other side.
If you have any questions at all, comment on our Facebook page, or email us at info@extendYoga.com. Amanda is happy to answer questions.
Come try out astavakrasana in Amanda’s classes next week!
See you on the mat!