Yoga Arm Balance Posture – 10 Steps to do the ‘Flying Splits’ Yoga Pose
Eka Pada Koundinyasana II
eka = one · pada = foot · Koundinya = a sage · asana = pose
Aka: Flying Splits
Benefits of Balancing Postures
Dubbed “the flying splits” – this fun, challenging pose is dedicated to the sage Koundinya.
Helps build a strong upper body, shoulders, back and legs + it gives you the feeling of flying – hovering above the floor.
Koudinyasana is a fun variation to try during Sun Salutations as a creative transition into chaturanga dandasana.
‘HOW TO’ FLY
- Begin in downward facing dog. Hands pointing forwards, shoulder distance apart. Fingers spread evenly with wrist creases parallel to the front of the mat.
- Inhale raise your right leg high to the sky. On the exhalation, draw your knee in and place your knee as high up on your upper arm as possible.
- Gaze forward and bend the elbows to 90 degrees (chaturanga arms) balancing knee on your mid-upper arm like a shelf.
- Keep chaturanga arms – lightly grip your finger tips and hug your outer arms in (isometric contraction to engage the chest and biceps), chin in line with your sternum.
- Now your ready for lift off! Shift your sternum & weight slightly forward gripping into your fingertips until your back leg becomes light.
- Try hopping your back leg in the air a few times until it lifts up off of the floor and hovers – floating and flying above the floor.
- Flying splits – straighten both legs on an inhale, radiating out from your centre. Quads engaged, spine lengthening, spreading toes to keep energy moving through legs.
- “Tight is Light!” When it comes to legs in arm balancing.
- Maintain the shape of chaturanga dandasana, lifting shoulders away from the floor so that your arms stay at a 90-degree angle. Elbows stacked over wrists, hugging into the mid-line of your body.
- Stay for 4-5 breaths. To come out, exhale and sweep your right leg back for chaturanga dandasana. Continue the vinyasa into upward-facing dog and into downward-facing dog.
- To begin, place your back knee down on the floor. Then straighten both legs as you float your legs up off the fllor.
- If hammies are tight – front knee can stay bent even while “flying” in the air.
- Place hand on blocks to support wrists.
For a more advanced variation try the transition into 8 Limb Pose (astavakrasana) in video above.
xx Kat Clayton