Astavakrasana is dedicated to Sage Astavakra, the spiritual preceptor of King Janaka of Mithila. Astavakra counts as an advanced asana and aims to awaken manipura chakra. This posture is an arm-balancing posture and requires a gentle wrist warm-up prior final attempt. Therefore, you can add a few round of wrist rotations, shoulder rotations and elbow movements. It will hep you to balance better and be prepared for the pose. Skipping necessary warm-ups often causes cartilage depletion and pain post practice. This is something you should be aware of!
Instructions to perform Astavakrasana:
- Stand with the feet about hald metre apart
- Bend the knees
- Place the right palm on the floor between the feet and the left palm a little in front of the left foot
- Place the right leg above the right arm
- Rest the thigh on the back of the right upper arm, just above the elbow
- Bring the left foot forward between the arms so that it lies close to the right foot
- Lift both legs from the floor and interlock them by placing the left foot on the right ankle
- Stretch both legs to the right side
- Be sure that the right arm is between the thighs
- The right elbow should be slightly bent below the thighs
- The left upper arm should be straight
- Balance on the arms
- Bend the elbows, lower the trunk and head until they are parallel to the floor
Benefits of Astavakrasana:
- Develops nervous control
- Reverses the flow of apana
- Directs the energy to manipura chakra
- Strengthens the wrists, leg and arm muscles
- Strengthens the abdominal muscles
Astavakrasana should be avoided by people with heart ailments, high blood pressure, back conditions or problems with the hips. This posture shouldn’t be attempted until the arms and shoulders have become very strong.
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