Astavakrasana (Eight-Twists Pose) – Benefits, Adjustment & Cautions

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 rounds of wrist rotations, shoulder rotations, and elbow movements. It will help 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:

  1. Stand with the feet about half a meter apart
  2. Bend the knees
  3. Place the right palm on the floor between the feet and the left palm a little in front of the left foot
  4. Place the right leg above the right arm
  5. Rest the thigh on the back of the right upper arm, just above the elbow
  6. Bring the left foot forward between the arms so that it lies close to the right foot
  7. Lift both legs from the floor and interlock them by placing the left foot on the right ankle
  8. Stretch both legs to the right side
  9. Be sure that the right arm is between the thighs
  10. The right elbow should be slightly bent below the thighs
  11. The left upper arm should be straight
  12. Balance on the arms
  13. 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.

How to get to the next level in yoga?

To get to the next level and unfold another layer of yourself and your yogic journey, you can consider taking a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course in India at Yoga India foundation. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow your practice, learn yoga in its birthplace India and study with the most experienced teachers. At Yoga India Foundation you get to -besides the asana practice- learn about meditation, pranayama, kriyas, mantras, karma yoga, Ayurveda, and emotional blockage treatment as well.

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2 Responses

  1. this posture looks so difficult to me!! My arms are not strong enough yet but I hope soon I will be able to master this pose. I hope I get to join your Yoga Teacher Training in India one day so I can become stronger and more flexible!

    1. Namaste Sarah, Astavakrasana can be challenging in the beginning, yes. But once you become stronger in your arms and shoulders, you will be able to do it. You are also welcome to join our Yoga Teacher Training in India to expand your yogic knowledge and get deeper into your practise.
      Just drop as an email and we will send you all Infos!

      Warm regards
      Your Yoga India Foundation Team

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