Eka Pada Koundinyasana or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya

Eka Pada Koundinyasana or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya

Eka Pada Koundinyasana or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya

What's up, guys? today we're going to learn the foundational elements for getting into one of my favorite arm balances, which I'm sure I say that a lot Eka pada Kundinyasana - now remember it's really important to learn the foundation and be solid in the arm bowels 
before you start transitioning. But we will also move into the transitions from headstand to Eka pada. Maybe even handstand - Eka pada.

 Let's get started  in Tadasana. At the top of our mats take your feet hips to distance your hands by your side. Close your eyes and just allow this beginning part of our practice together. to help you find this present moment. Focus on your breath. Be thankful for the floor underneath us for our strong bodies holding us Up. To take a clearing breath together. Inhale through your nose. Let sweep the arms out and come up gaze up as a palms touch. Exhale swan dive it forward. Grab hold of opposite elbows in your attend asana. 

Just hang out here for a couple of breaths. If your hamstrings are really tight put a micro bend in your knees. Let the crown of the head drop down freely. You might even shake your head from side to side. If your legs are straight or you're working towards straight think about lifting the kneecaps up. Even lifting of the toes up off the ground and keeping the equal weight between the heels and the balls of the feet.

 Just a little warm-up before we get into Eka pada, take your fingertips to the ground. Inhale to your flat back, exhale step your left foot back. Put your left knee down and inhale lift your arms up on Janusirsasana. Opening the left hip flexors in the front of the hip. Firm your thighs and try not to Sag down too deep. Inhale lift the back ribs up. Exhale draw the front ribs in. Inhale fully, exhale take your fingertips down. Move your left knee back and straighten your right leg ardha hanumanasana.

You can stay here in ardha Hanuman and fold down or if it's available to you slide your right heel forward, your left knee back and find full hanumanasana. Try to keep your hips squared. I'd recommend even keeping your back foot tucked under your left foot then inhale lengthen the spine and exhale fold-down. Wherever you are over that front leg. Few breaths here. Inhales create length, exhales drawing the ribs in maybe getting a little bit deeper into the stretch. From an inhale Find your flat back, if you've come on back into hanumanasana or half Hanuman I should say plant your palms. Flat down lift your left knee up and reach your right leg up and back. 

Go ahead bend the knee open the hip. You can even make circles with that right knee. Just feeling the full rotation of the femur bone in the socket. Inhale straighten your right leg. Exhale right knee right triceps. now warming up also your core. Inhale right leg reaches up and back. Exhale right knee Right triceps try not to let it sag down on the arm. Just to tap inhale and reach your right leg up and back last time. Exhale right knee, right triceps inhale reach up and back exhale Step your right foot forward. Step your left foot forward to meet the right asana with feet hips distance fold down.

Moving towards that left side inhale flat back, exhale step your right foot back .put your right knee down and inhale rise up on Janay asana firm the inner thighs in towards one another. Even think about pulling your left heel towards your right knee and your right knee towards your left heel .lift the back ribs inhale-exhale front ribs in. one more breath inhale-exhale fingertips come down scoot your right knee back straighten your left leg. If you took ardha Hanuman on the other side you're going to stay here and fold down if you took full Hanuman asana to slide your left heel forward. your right knee back. and it's not really important to get all the way down.

 I prefer for you to focus on keeping your hips squared. This will make sure that as you stretch into the left hamstring and the tight hip flexors that they stay safe. keep those right toes tucked under, inhale and exhale fold down over your left leg .each inhalation finding length each exhalation drawing the ribs in. One more breath cycle. and then inhale come back onto your hands. If you're in full Hanuman come on back to ardha hanumanasana. plant your palms flat lift your right knee off the mat and inhale reach your left leg up and backbend the knee open the hip should feel really good after stretching that left hamstring.

 If you did on the other side make those knee circles. inhale straighten your left leg exhale left side obliques work left knee left tricep just to tap don't rest it. Two more inhale-exhale left knee left tricep the last one inhale-exhale left knee higher than the triceps. If possible to the armpit then inhale left leg up and back. Exhale step your left foot forward and your right foot forward feet hips distance asana inhale and exhale fold-down .hmmm great job, now your body is warm open and ready to tackle Eka pada koundinyasana to. Inhale to a flat back and just sit on down onto your shins. all right Eka pada koundinyasana - is a really fun arm balance and can be practiced in a number of ways. 

The most common things that I see are especially with ladies that they tend to use their low back more instead of our front body. even using more of a counterbalance. For those of you who are tighter in the hips or hamstrings usually, It's the dudes the knee stays bent and that's also totally fine. So first I want to show you what the tendency is. There are a few ways to get into it. One is from that position where you have your knee to your tricep now we have the best intention but when we come down into it we drop way too low with our shoulders and lift our back leg way too high and if you look from the other side when I drop really low with that right shoulder. 

It's actually hyperextending my wrist and my elbow it's really not healthy and when you do drop that low you're going from external rotation to internal rotation of the arm bone in the socket. And that's really not a good position for the front of your shoulder. So it is easier but it's not great for your body another thing that happens is we use the open arm as a kickstand. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and this is what I mean. Go to the left side so this arm traditionally should be free. However to make it a little easier we tuck that arm underneath us and it really does make the pose a lot easier. But it does also change the rotation of the leg that's reached out to the side. 

So if you work like that if you try the pose that way there's nothing wrong with it. Just start to work away from it. Try to gain strength through your practice to find that arm completely free. And the reason why you'd want to do that is that when you're transitioning from your tripod into your Eka pada to or your handstand into your Eka pada .you do need to know how to do Eka pada - without the kicks and arm. So back to the shoulders, a great way to start to build strength but also the awareness to stop dropping your shoulders is to take your blocks. At the back of your mat, the hardest part is being able to lift that back foot without dropping the shoulders. Now in our blog, we worked a lot on chaturanga basics. being able to practice chaturanga correctly is the key to doing this arm balance correctly. And remember in chaturanga the shoulder tips stay lifted you're smiling the armpits towards the ears not shoulder tips down.

So go ahead and place your blocks at the back of your mat. Find the downward-facing dog with your feet on the blocks. Go for that down making it a little bit shorter than usual. Now from here bring whatever new you'd like I'm going to take my right knee forward towards the tricep. Get it as high as you can keep your right knee bent, for now, I want you to be able to feel the back foot is doing bend your elbows like chaturanga and push into your back toes. So that you lean forward into your fingertips and then from there you can straighten your right leg and hover up off the block. And if you don't get your foot up off the block it's really not a big deal. Where your foot is on the blocks is a great place for you to really feel your core. So if you know you're that practitioner who drops their shoulders and lifts their back leg way too high. You know you're overusing your low back. What you really want us to use your belly.

Let's do it on the other side find the downward-facing dog. Shorten that down dog feet on blocks. Now take your left knee towards your left tricep. Bend your elbows like chaturanga and push forward until your weight is in your fingertips keep lifting your shoulder tips and see if you can learn more into the fingertips maybe that right foot hovers, and release. Great job. This is one of my favorites if you have a partner at home your partner can also be your block. By taking their hand underneath your ankle. I initially spoke about the fact that there are two ways or a couple of ways really a few ways to get into Eka pada. The one that we did I like the most because it does teach your body how much you need to use your core bringing the knee to the tricep engages the obliques. for some of us, we prefer to take it from a humble warrior so join me in the downward-facing dog. and we'll do it together. inhale reach your right leg up and back exhale knee to nose step it forward. Warrior one spin that left heel down the line it up heel to heel inhale rise up. 

Gaze up as a palms touch exhale take your hands behind your back interlace your fingers press your palms together inhale lift your heart. Exhale fold-down humble warrior. This is a great place to not only open that right leg hip but also to strengthen it. Maybe you even take the crown of the head to the ground. If you can get there release your hands and take your forearms to the ground this is a wonderful way to get an Eka pada - but it does utilize the flexibility more than the strength. 

So if you are wanting to get into it from this position you want to know that you can get your forearms to the ground before you try it. Come up onto your hands come onto the ball of your right foot and the ball of your left foot take your right hand to your right calf and press the shoulder forward you can get the shoulder behind the knee. Hand's underneath the shoulders straighten your arms right leg extends. Lower down like a chaturanga float into the fingertips. and then fling back lots of fun. 

Let's do it on the other side downward-facing dog. And remember if you couldn't quite get there and your jump back was more of a plop. That's okay, at least you were trying to inhale reach your left leg up and back. Exhale step it forward. Spin your right heel down heel to heel inhale rise up. Virabhadrasana one. Gaze up as your palms touch exhale hands behind your back interlace your fingers. Press your palms to inhale to lift your heart. Exhale fold-down humble warrior. One side is always going to feel different from the other, for me, this side is a lot tighter but also a lot weaker.

 Take your forearms to the ground. if you can get there then you can begin to try to transition into that Eka pada - from here. Take your hands down now lift your arms up come onto the balls of both feet. Take your left hand behind your left calf press it forward shoulder behind the knee. Plant your palms flat straighten your arms to get that left foot off the ground. Extend your left leg to the left or bend the knee, bend your elbows chaturanga. lean into the fingertips keep the shoulder tips lifted. Then vinyasa downward facing dog. come down onto your knees .great job, so those are the basics for Eka pada - if this is a new arm balance for you make sure that you keep working the basics, the more you do a vinyasa flow the more you practice the stronger you're going to get and like I said chaturanga is the basic foundation for this pose. So keep working your mind-body connection each time you're in chaturanga.

 Now we'll move forward into the transition. So much like your handstand to crow, it's really important to find a position that's a little lower to the ground. So that you can feel what the transition is going to be like before you throw yourself into it. And that's why I love tripod headstand, it does make this transition a little more accessible. So with your tripod headstand transition from head santé Eka pada - it does require some flexibility. It also does require some simultaneous movement.

So what I want you to do is take tripod headstand with me and we'll just practice moving our legs around and bringing each leg close to the arm as possible. Right so find your tripod hands down flat index fingers forward hands shoulders distance. Come on to the crown of your head lift your knees up and walk your feet in. You want to keep the power in your hands so lift the shoulder blades up and come into a tripod. From your straight leg tripod take your legs out wide. So that wide-leg flexibility is really important here, keep your right leg where it reaches your left leg straight back up. 

Just learning how to move while you're upside down now see if you can take your right leg all the way out to the side and maybe even begin to bring that right leg to the right arm, go back up. Take your legs out wide. Keep your left leg where it brings your right leg back up see if you can take your left knee almost towards your left elbow. And then go back up. And come on down. So you begin to feel really what it's like to use the obliques hopefully you're already feeling that in your Eka pada. In a to practice but from coming to act out attitude from upside down it's even more important now for the transition.

 For most of us, it's going to be really hard to come from headstand Eka pada - without tapping the back foot down and the key is to really remember what chaturanga feels like going forward into the fingertips and I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to come into my tripod, keep my left leg up to take my right leg to the side keep it coming forward and at the last moment lift my head up going forward will help stop that a left foot from coming down and even if it taps a ground it can come straight back up. So start practicing that putting it in your practice daily and it will definitely help you get towards that handstand lower down - Eka pada. For those of you who find that they're you're pretty ready to go towards that handstand lower down, then let's go an amazing tool for this one is using a partner and I'm honored to have my partner today.

He's going to help me out with this one, so your partner is basically going to hold you up in a handstand and help you lower down. Ready all right, so I'm going to take my one-legged handstand he's going to stand to the side of my body with the leg that is currently lifted, okay I'm gonna pop up find that handstand now my right leg is going to go out to the side. 

He's going to help me keep my left leg lifted as I bend my elbows and lower down. One more time, okay do it a little bit slower hop up find your handstand your partner is going to take their hand to your leg and slowly help you lower down. Okay, this is great thanks to My buddy. Okay, this is really really great for your arms for your core but also for your body awareness because it does help you slow it down. So try that out a few times with a partner and one day, you'll get towards that handstand.

Beginner's Tip:

You can verify your parity in the event that you bolster the side leg on support as well as the back leg on a seat.

Benefits:

  • Reinforces the arms and wrists.

  • Tones the paunch and spine.


If you have any suggestions please write to us they are very valuable for us to see you soon Namaste.


SHIVA

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