This pose gives an intense workout to the belly and back. Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya, this second variation is an even more strenuous strengthener for your arms and wrists. Mastering this posture gives you a big boost in self-confidence.
(Pronounced as "ache-ah PAH-dah cown-din-YAHS-anna")
This is the second variation of a series of arm balances dedicated to the Indian Sage Koundinya.
*Please note: Do not attempt this posture unless you are already confident in arm balances such as Bakasana and Eka Pada Koundinyasana I.
Come into Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward Facing Dog Pose. On an inhalation, lift your right leg back and straighten the right leg by extending through your right heel. The right leg should extend up as high as possible while staying in line with your torso. Now exhale as you bend the right knee and bring the right foot forward, placing the sole of your foot in between your hands on the floor. The right heel should be in line with your palms, and the right knee should bend at a 90-degree angle. Now bend your left leg and place the left knee on the floor.
Take a breath. On your next exhalation, move both of your hands over toward the left side of your right foot. The palms of your hands should press into the mat and remain shoulder width apart, staying directly underneath your shoulders. You can move your right foot over toward the right a few more inches to accommodate this new position. Here the inside of your right knee should be touching the outside of your right shoulder.
Now exhale as you bend your torso down toward the floor so that you can hook your right shoulder underneath your right thigh. Move the palm of your right hand next to the outside edge of your right heel and press the right hand down into the mat. Next, straighten the left leg, which will lift the left knee off of the mat. Turn the left toes under so that the ball of your left foot presses into the mat. Bend down so that your torso is at the same height as your bent elbows. Your shoulders should not come down lower than your elbows toward the mat. Do not drop your chest down or round your back. Now straighten the right leg, keeping it lifted off the floor and extended out to the right side.
Look straight in front of you. Tuck your shoulder blades deeply into your back, holding your torso and arms together firmly like you would in Caturanga Dandasana. Now exhale as you shift your weight slightly forward in front of your hands and tighten all of your core muscles to lift the left leg up off of the floor behind you. Hold the left leg up straight in line with your torso.
Point the left toes and focus on extending your left leg back as far as you can. Try to pull your sternum slightly forward to keep your chest in alignment and achieve better balance.
Stay in the posture for as long as you can, which may only be about 20 seconds. Then bring your left foot down, pressing the ball of your left foot into the mat again. Swing the right leg back to bring the right foot right next to the left foot on the floor. Step back into Adho Mukha Svanasana. Repeat the steps on the other side and hold them for the same amount of time.
Eka Pada Koundinyanasana II
The best way to learn yoga is to take lessons from a professional teacher. Want to see the yoga classes near you?