Once you’ve mastered Bakasana (Crow Pose) and Parsva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose) you’ll find that a world of exciting arm balances open up in front of you. Eka Pada Koundinyasana I is one such arm balance and has, as its entry point, Parsva Bakasana (shown here).
If you’re still working on Parsva Bakasana go to that blog post where we break it down for you as once you’ve mastered Parsva Bakasana all the key elements will be in place for your successful transition to Eka Pada Koundinyasana I.
How to do Eka Pada Koundinyasana I
Once you’re in Parsva Bakasana, press firmly into the floor through your arms and hands initiating that pressing action with your strong chest and back muscles (think of everything you’ve ever learnt about working with strength in Chaturanga Dandasana).
Make sure you lift your hips high too. This will ensure that your body is light because your core is engaged. If you don’t do this your body will feel heavy (because it will be sitting passively on your arms) and your center of gravity will be too wide to make the transition to Eka Pada Koundinyasana I.
Now, extend your top leg back to 6 o’clock and your bottom leg out to 9 o’clock (or 3 o’clock, depending on what side you’re doing). Move slowly. If you rush your center of gravity will shift too quickly and you’re likely to fall out of the pose. As your legs move, shift your chest forward slightly to maintain your balance. This will provide a counterbalance to the backward transfer of weight that occurs as your legs move into their new positions.
Grip firmly with the fingertips and then, to ensure no unnecessary strain is placed on the shoulders, lift the shoulders away from the floor so the arms stay at a ninety-degree angle.
Reach actively through the ball of each foot and the crown of the head.
And there you have it – a strong pose that will build your core, arm and shoulder strength and overall body awareness and control!
Counter Poses for Eka Pada Koundinyasana I :
Pada Hastasana ( Gorilla Pose) can be a nice pose to sequence afterward because it stretches your wrists out. It’s important to give your wrists some love after practicing Eka Pada Koundinyasana I because they’ve been working hard to keep you stable and upright.
Preparatory Poses for Eka Pada Koundinyasana I :
- Chaturanga Dandasana
- Parivrtta Trikonasana
- Parivrtta Utkatasana
- Parsva Bakasana
- Core work
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