Yoga Poses

Challenge Pose: Visvamitrasana

Strengthen your shoulders and back as you move step by step into Visvamitrasana.

PREVIOUS STEP IN YOGAPEDIA 3 Ways to Prep for Visvamitrasana

Visvamitra The Sage
Visva = everyone · mitra = friend · asana = pose

Strengthens your hands, wrists, shoulders, lats, hamstrings,
and quadriceps; stimulates the intestines and encourages digestion.

Step 1

Rick Cummings

From Tadasana, inhale and raise your arms up. Exhale and fold forward. Place your hands on the ground and step back so that your feet are about 3–4 feet from your hands. Begin to reach your sit bones back, press your hands into the mat, and straighten your arms to come into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

See also Challenge Pose: Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Step 2

Rick Cummings

Inhale and step your right foot to the inside of your right hand. Turn your left heel in and drop it to the mat, making sure it’s placed along the midline of your body. Ground through your left leg, and tuck your right elbow behind your right knee. Wiggle your arm and shoulder as deeply behind your knee as they will go. You can use your breath to help work it deeper. Inhale, and hold for a breath. Repeat this last movement.

See also Head-to-Knee Forward Bend


Step 3

Rick Cummings

Place your right hand on the floor several inches to the right of your right foot, slightly in front of your shoulder with your fingers facing forward. On an exhalation, engage your lower abdominals, lift your pelvis, and begin to straighten your right arm. Keep lifting your pelvis and find a lifting action in your left leg while your heel stays rooted. Place your left hand on your right foot to help keep your leg hooked around your right arm with your right leg lifted. Press your right leg into your right arm.

See also Cow Face Pose

Step 4

Rick Cummings

Once you feel stability in your right arm and pelvis, begin to reach and straighten your right leg. Keep extending through your leg, reaching though the ball of your right foot; point your right toes. Find a spinning action, as though you were trying to rotate the bottom of your right foot, reaching it toward the ceiling. Press and ground again into the outer edge of your left foot, which will help engage your core and help with the lifting action of the pelvis. Press your right thigh against your right arm to maintain stability. Press into the mat with your right hand, and slowly begin to reach your left hand up in an energetic line above your right arm. Open your chest and draw your collarbones away from your ears. Reach your tailbone toward your left heel to keep your legs active and engaged. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

See also Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Stay Safe
If you have injuries in your wrists, hamstrings, or pelvis, this posture may not be suitable for you. Your arms and pelvis should feel stable before you move to straighten your right leg. Otherwise, you risk straining your right hamstring, left hip flexor, or right rotator cuff. Once you feel stable, press your right leg into your right arm and reach through your right foot to help keep your leg active, maintaining a lift through your pelvic floor. Avoid sinking into the posture, which can put strain on ligaments in your hip and groin. 

See also 10 Ways to Get Real About Your Body’s Limitations & Avoid Yoga Injuries