[Pose Of the Week] One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose (Advanced)

Challenge your strength, flexibility & balance from head-to-toe with One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose!

One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose (Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana) – also known as One Legged Reversed Staff Pose or One Legged Upward Bow Pose – is an advanced-level yoga pose that provides intense stretch for the chest and entire front body, while strengthening the legs, hips, arms, shoulders, back, and core and challenging the balance. This back bend pose also stretches the back and hips, and is believed to stimulate the thyroid and pituitary glands, while boosting your energy and improving posture and circulation, as well as certain digestive issues. It has also been used to treat asthma, infertility, and menstrual issues. This pose also stimulates the Third Eye, Heart, Throat, and Crown chakras, and is believed to promote compassion and self-confidence, relieve stress and depression, and focus the mind.

There are two versions of this pose, with the second being slightly more advanced. In version I, the forearms are wrapped around the head with the hands clasped (as shown here), as in Tripod Headstand Pose. In version II (pictured above), the hands clasp behind the ankle of the standing leg. Be sure you are comfortable with Version I before attempting Version II, and always make sure you are fully warmed up before moving into the pose. It is recommended to perform this pose under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

Those with high or low blood pressure, recent internal surgery, headaches, heart problems, or who have injuries to the neck, back, shoulders, arms, or wrists, or who are pregnant, should avoid this pose.

How to Do One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose:

  • Start in Forearm Wheel Pose.
  • Take both the feet towards your head.
  • Release your fingers, spread your wrists and rest your palms on the ground.
  • While exhaling, lift your head off the ground, extend your neck towards your feet and bring your right leg near the hands.
  • Grab your right ankle with both hands and press your entire foot into the ground.
  • When your grip on the ankles is strong, exhale and lift your left leg up by lifting your shoulders and extending your spine. Keep your leg taut at your knee.
  • Stay in this posture for 10-15 seconds. Due to the contraction of your abdominal muscles, breathing may be fast and laborious.
  • Bring your left foot down to the ground.
  • Release your right ankle and grab your left. Repeat the pose described above, now raising your right leg vertically. Stay in the pose on the other side for the same duration. Then lower your raised leg.
  • Release your ankle and on the exhalation, press your hands into the floor to lift up into Wheel Pose, then gently come down and rest on your back.
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