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Yoga Sequences

Challenge Pose: 5 Steps to Move into Eka Pada Koundinyasana I

Find length and stay centered to lift step by step into the One-Footed Pose dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I.

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Watch the video on YOGAPEDIA

Find length and stay centered to lift step-by-step into the One-Footed Pose dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I

Eka Pada Koundinyasana I
eka = one · pada = foot · Koundinya = a sage · asana = pose
One-Footed Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I

A challenging arm balance that helps you build a strong core, shoulders, and legs


1. Begin in Tadasana, facing the right side of your mat. Keeping your knees together, come into a squat, lifting your heels and rooting down with your big-toe mounds, hands in Anjali Mudra.

2. On an exhalation, take your right upper arm to the outside of your left thigh, twisting to the left. Gaze forward, chin in line with your sternum.

3. Place your hands on the mat pointing forward, shoulder- distance apart, with wrist creases parallel to the front of the mat. Now you’re ready for takeoff into Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose): Lift your hips and extend your sternum away from your navel. As you reach your breastbone toward the front of your mat, shift your weight forward until your feet become light and you can draw them toward your buttocks. Continue pressing into your big-toe mounds to keep your legs active. Keep your elbows pinned into the midline and stacked over your wrists. Bring your knees as close to your right armpit as possible and try to keep your weight off the left arm.

4. Exhale and start to straighten your legs. Engage your quadriceps and vigorously push your right femur toward the wall behind you as you press into the right big-toe mound. Simultaneously press forward with your left big-toe mound to re-create the legs of Revolved Triangle Pose.

5. Now that you’ve found the basic shape of the pose, refine it. Come back to the shoulder work from Chaturanga Dandasana, lifting the heads of the shoulders away from the floor so that your upper and lower arms create a 90-degree angle. Recall the idea of a taut rope being pulled in two directions. Anchor the pose by pressing into your right big-toe mound and then set sail with your sternum and the crown of your head. Use the breathing pattern from the twists to deepen the pose: Inhale to find more length along your lengthen your front body. central axis; exhale to rotate by taking your left leg farther to the right and your right leg farther to the left. Take 4–5 breaths. Then, to come out, exhale and sweep your left leg back and into Chaturanga. There’s no secret strategy to this exit, just a continuation of the themes you’ve explored throughout the sequence. Maintain the integrity of your shoulders and the intention of staying long, head to toe.

Stay Safe
If you try to lean on both arms as you move into Parsva Bakasana and then Eka Pada Koundinyasana I, your chest and shoulders will collapse and you will lose the vitality of your central axis. When this happens, the potency of the pose is dissipated; gravity wins and the shoulders become compromised as they roll forward and down. Keep the heads of your upper arms lifted, and actively lengthen your front body.

Watch This
Learn how to do Chaturanga Dandasana and Eka Pada Koundinyasana I with our YOGAPEDIA video.

See also YOGAPEDIA: Standing Forward Bend to Firefly Pose

See also in YOGAPEDIA

7 Steps to Master Chaturanga Dandasana

3 Safe-Alignment Modifications for Chaturanga Dandasana

Prep Poses for Eka Pada Koundinyasana I