Challenge Pose: 10 Steps to Fly in Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2

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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

  1. Begin in downward facing dog. Hands pointing forwards, shoulder distance apart. Fingers spread evenly with wrist creases parallel to the front of the mat.
  2. 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.
  3. Gaze forward and bend the elbows to 90 degrees (chaturanga arms) balancing knee on your mid-upper arm like a shelf.
  4. 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.
  5. Now your ready for lift off! Shift your sternum & weight slightly forward gripping into your fingertips until your back leg becomes light.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. “Tight is Light!” When it comes to legs in arm balancing.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 Modify:

  • 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.

Up-Level

For a more advanced variation try the transition into 8 Limb Pose (astavakrasana) in video above.

If you’d like to build confidence in your arm balancing postures, join me for my upcoming Arm Balancing Workshop – all levels welcome!

Or private 1:1 lessons or public classes. See you on the mat yogis!

Namaste

xx Kat Clayton

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