Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

Sage Koundinya I (Eka Pada Koundinyasana): Step-by-Step Instructions


Eka Pada Koundinyasana I, the pose dedicate to Sage Koundinya, is an arm-balancing twist that requires lots of sagely qualities like core strength, concentration and self-control to master.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Eka Pada Koundinyasana

(Pronounced as "ache-ah PAH-duh COWN-din-YAHS-anna")

The Sanskrit name Eka Pada Koundinyasana literally translates as "one foot of Sage Koundinya." This sage is a descendant of the great Seer Vasishtha, author of the famous philosophical work "The Yoga Vasishtha."

How to do Sage Koundinya's Pose Variation 1

Step One

Stand on your yoga mat. Squat down, sitting on your heels. Keep your weight over the balls of your feet. Place your hands in front of your knees on the mat for balance. Inhale deeply as you stretch your left arm straight up toward the ceiling as high as you can. Put your right hand on the mat directly underneath your right shoulder.

Step Two

On a long exhalation, bring your left hand down to your right side next to your feet as you twist your entire torso deeply to the right. Your feet will point in front of you, but your torso faces completely to the right side. Stretch your left arm and adjust it so that the back of your left armpit presses against the outside of your right knee.

Step Three

Place your hands at a shoulder's distance apart and spread your fingers. Twist deeper still so that your knees point forward and both your shoulders and knees are at the same height. Lean forward over your hands as your twist. Firmly press your outer knee into the back of the left armpit as you would do in Parsva Bakasana.

Step Four

Keep your bent knees together and lift up your hips higher than your shoulders. Lift your head up to look straight in front of you as you lift the sternum and lengthen your spine. Lean forward and bend your arms so that you make almost a 90-degree angle between your upper arms and forearms. Keeping your knees as close to your armpit as possible, press the knees against the back of your upper arm as you shift your weight forward to lift both feet off of the ground.

Step Five

Take a breath as you balance. On an exhalation, straighten both of your legs at the same time. The right leg extends forward over the left arm while the left leg extends behind you in line with your back. Push the legs straight through your heels. Keep your shoulders level with each other. Do not let your elbows stick out to the sides; they should remain in line with your arms. Do not let your chest sink down lower than your elbows. Hold the posture for 20 seconds or as long as you can. Then bend the knees back to Parsva Bakasana and bring your feet back to the mat, returning to your original squat position. Repeat the pose while turning to the left this time and hold it for the same amount of time.

Beginner's Tip:

It takes a lot of practice and strength to lift the legs off the floor and keep them lifted as you extend them. To help you train for it, use a chair. Sit on the front edge of your chair with knees facing forward. Turn to your right side and place the hands at shoulder-width apart on the floor with spread fingers. Do the same action of twisting your torso deeply to the right and leaning slightly to the right so that the back of your left armpit presses against the outside of the right knee.

While your buttocks stays supported by the chair, slowly press your knees into the back of your left upper arm and bend your elbows as you practice lifting your feet off of the floor. You can keep your knees slightly bent as you practice extending your legs halfway straight with the chair's support. The right leg comes a little forward and the left leg goes a little back.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Eka Pada Koundinyanasana I

Pose Level:

Level 3

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Any wrist, arm or back injuries less than three months old

Benefits:

  • Builds strength in your arms, wrists, back and hips
  • Tones the oblique muscles and the abdomen

Next Pose:

Sage Marichi Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

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Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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