Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose)
Learning this challenging pose can help develop not just physical strength and flexibility, but patience, too.
But if you don't bring some of the lightness of child's play to your practice—if you can't let go of the desire to get somewhere—you won't attain your goals, either. I'm certainly not enlightened, but my inner voice whispers to me that if I can't lighten up as I do the serious work of my sadhana (practice), not much enlightenment will come my way.
John Schumacher is a certified senior Iyengar teacher and longtime student of B.K.S. Iyengar. He directs the three studios of the Unity Woods Yoga Center in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He is grateful to Dona Holleman for teaching him the essence of arm balances.
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