[Pose Of the Week] Sage Koundinya’s Pose (Advanced)

Give your entire body a strength challenge with Sage Koundinya’s Pose!

Sage Koundinya’s Pose (Eka Pada Koundinyasana I) – also known as One Foot Sage Pose – is an advanced-level yoga pose that strengthens the arms, shoulders, legs, back, and core for a full-body challenge!

This arm balance pose requires quite a bit of strength in the upper body and core, so you’ll want to make sure you are properly prepared and can easily handle other arm balances such as Crow or Crane Pose before attempting this one. This pose also helps improve flexibility for those with tight hips and hamstrings, but you will want to be sure to fully warm up those areas before performing the pose.

Although similar to Flying Splits or Hurdler’s Pose, this pose offers an additional challenge for the core muscles due to the twisted position of the torso.

Be sure to keep your elbows pinned close to your sides in this pose to create support for your body to rest on. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle. Keep your gaze looking slightly forward and down to avoid neck strain. To modify the pose, keep your back foot on the floor or use a yoga block for balance until you build enough strength to lift the entire body.

Those who have hip, shoulder, or wrist pain, or who are pregnant should avoid this pose.

How to Do Sage Koundinya’s Pose:

  1. First, be sure you have fully stretched and warmed up your body. Then, face the side of your mat and enter into a squatting position. Lean forward and place your palms flat on the yoga mat in front of you. Be on the balls of your feet with your knees pressed together.
  2. Pivot your feet so your knees are facing the left side of your mat. Slowly begin to lean forward while keeping your head up. Do not strain your neck.
  3. Bend your arms toward a 90-degree angle and pin your elbows inward. Press your palms firmly into the yoga mat to create shelves made with your upper arms. This is shown in Chaturanga Dandasana.
  4. Lift your hips and place the side of your right knee onto the arm shelf created by your left arm. Enter into Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana).
  5. Shift your weight forward to your upper body. Your feet should feel light. This will allow you to extend your legs back.
  6. Exhale and extend your top leg straight back. Extend your bottom leg straight out. Keep the feet flexed while extending out through the heels. Do not point your toes.
  7. Keep your gaze ahead of you but do not look up as this can strain the neck.
  8. To release the pose, lower your legs and lean back to release the pressure put on the arms.
  9. Repeat on the other side.
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