It’s Day 26, and the pose of the day is Eight Angle Pose or Astavakrasana.
Okay, to be honest, this is one of those poses that is not part of my daily practice. I think I had an aversion to arm balances because I identified with not being good at them. I realize now though that the only way to get good at them, is to do them. So, let’s get started.
First, I want to say if you are going to have a practice at home, get some very good yoga books. They aren’t just for helping you balance in Crow. There’s actual good information in them. Today, I’m going to walk through the steps B.K.S. Iyengar gives in his book Light on Yoga for this pose. When you reach the step that’s hard for you, you know where your “growth edge” will be.
Step 1: “Stand with feet 18 inches apart.”
Boom! I got this part.
If you still aren’t able to squat this low with your heels on the ground, I recommend practicing Malasana with heels on a thick folded blanket until you can comfortably hold a deep squat.
It starts getting a bit tricky here, but it’s still manageable for me. Getting your leg over your arm requires open hamstrings. Poses like Seated Head to Knee, Pigeon, and Seated Forward Fold can help with this.
Step 4: “Exhale and lift both legs off the floor. Interlock the legs by placing the left foot upon the right ankle and extend the legs sideways to the right.”
Aaaaaand I fell. That’s okay though. I was able to get my legs up, but I was having trouble getting them to the side.
If I had a student stuck on this step (like me), I would tell them to practice a pose like Pendant (pictured below) that builds upper body strength to practice getting their feet off the ground. Once they are proficient at that, they can proceed to the next step.
If you keep practicing, you will always be taking the next step. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by looking at the big picture. If you just do the work that’s here, right now, you become unstoppable.