Build Upper Body Strength And Flexibility With 8 Angle Pose


Astavrakasana or Eight-Angle Pose is a twisting pose while balancing on your arms in chaturanga as a foundation. Sounds frustrating already, right? But don’t be discouraged!

The pose was known as a devotion to Astavakra whose father was infuriated while he was still in his mother’s womb. Astavakra was cursed by his father to be born contorted in eight angles. Though Eight-Angle Pose seems impossible to be reached, keep in mind a golden thought from Astavakra:

“If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free, and if one thinks of oneself as bound, one is bound.”

The sky’s the limit. All boundaries are set in the mind. And when breached properly, will be shuttered for good. Let go of the false beliefs you have and allow the practice to open the sacred space of freedom.

Make sure that your body is warmed up. Eight-Angle Pose strengthens the shoulders, abdominal muscles, wrists and improves balance. Be careful when practicing if you have any injuries in shoulders and wrists. This posture requires deep hip opening and a decent range of motion within the hip joint. One issue that can make this posture hard to approach is if one has tight hips. A good prerequisite would be mastering chaturanga with proper form to make balancing on your arms more easy and stable. It is a must to awaken your core. Gently open your hips and make sure your wrists are properly warmed up to safely get into the posture.

Compass Pose. This pose will externally rotate your leg while opening your inner thigh. This is a good preparatory pose to directly warm the joints and stretch the muscles that you will need.

How: Start on a seated position. Bend your right knee. Take your left leg up behind your left arm like you’re wearing a backpack. Adjust your left arm to help you stabilize as your right arm reaches out for your left leg. Slowly stretch the left leg using your right arm. Listen to your body and don’t force anything that hurts. If this pose seems hard, go for Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend. Open your legs straight while seated and gently reaching for the ground while keeping your back upright. Hold the pose for a couple of breaths.

Crooked way to self-awareness.

This posture teaches patience and instills composure. Builds the strength of the shoulders, wrists, the upper body and core. Slowly and safely progress. Do not bring your ego onto the mat. It’ll cause injuries and will make your journey a lot harder.

How to properly approach the posture? Start in a seated position. Bend your right knee and tuck it to your chest and your left leg behind your left arm. Let it rest on your left triceps; do not tense the muscles on your leg. Interlock your feet, left feet on top of right. Lift yourself up as you take deep inhalation and exhale as you bring your weight forward positioning your upper body in chaturanga while your feet are locked. Take deep breaths while holding the pose and release.

The journey of Yoga is a physical practice with a spiritual intention. Though Eight-Angle Pose may seem a little intimidating, it will take patience and effort just like all other things in life. Set a good intention and an open mind and allow the practice to mold strengthen your body and mind.