One Legged Arm Balance Yoga Pose
overview

One Legged Arm Balance Yoga Pose is an arm balance pose that targets the triceps and hamstrings and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an intermediate level.

ajna – the third eye chakra
related poses
How To Do One Legged Arm Balance Yoga Pose
  1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Keeping the ball of your left foot firmly grounded, inhale and lift your right leg backward into the air. Push the leg up by bending your left knee, pushing the right leg further when you extend the left.
  2. Keeping your hips firm, exhale and swoop your right leg back down towards the ground. Your left foot should still be active, toes and ball of the foot firmly planted. Use the ball and toes of your left foot to help lift your body as you swing the right leg down. Keep your right leg straight as you come down, fluidly bending at the knee as your right leg becomes parallel with the left. Continue this swooping motion, bringing your knee up towards the right bicep. Repeat this motion a few times, fluidly moving your leg back into the air, holding for a few breaths, then swooping back to bring the knee to the bicep.
  3. After performing this motion a few times, bring the knee to the bicep and rest your inner knee just above the right elbow, keeping your pelvis open. Examine the placement of your body. Your shoulders should be positioned over the base of your hands, arms straight and upper back slightly rounded. Your left leg is active, heel lifted with toes planted on the floor, face looking toward the floor with no compression on the neck.
  4. Keeping the inside of your right knee positioned just above the elbow, slowly bend and draw your elbows in toward your belly without moving your hands. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the ground and hugging in toward your stomach, elbows directly over the wrists. You will feel your whole body begin to lift, leveling out your body and moving it parallel to the ground. You will feel the weight of your right leg being transferred to your right arm as your torso becomes parallel to the ground. Keeping your left toes planted for stability, hold this position for a few breaths. Depending on your strength and flexibility, this may be all you can manage for now.
  5. If you’re ready to do the full position, begin to shift your weight forward, evenly distributed into your hands. As you do this, your left leg will begin to lift off the ground. Continue this motion, strongly extending through the leg until it is parallel to the floor. While lifting the back leg, begin extending your front leg while keeping your hips and hamstrings active.
  6. When both legs are straight, spread your toes and keep a straight line running from your back heel, through your back and up to your head. Keep your shoulders even, resisting the urge to let your left shoulder drop. Your front leg’s position will vary depending on flexibility and body type, and it likely won’t be pointing straight passed your head the first time you try. At first, aim for your extended front leg to be angled about 45 degrees away from the body.
  7. Lift your head, softly gazing forward. Try to keep the muscles in your face and neck as relaxed as possible, avoiding any strain or tension. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds (or longer if you’re comfortable) before stepping your left foot back down. Step back into Downward Facing Dog, repeating these steps with the other leg.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • There are a few different ways to get into the One-Legged Arm Balance. If you have an instructor, you may want to use the same technique that he or she has introduced to you. Or try this way for a new twist!
  • Do not attempt this pose if you have a wrist or back injury.
Tips

If you’re having trouble staying balanced, try using a bolster to support one or both of your legs.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, biceps, triceps, abs, wrists

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, biceps, triceps

Health Benefits of One Legged Arm Balance Yoga Pose
  • Improves balance, focus and concentration.
  • Strengthens muscle control throughout the body.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Eka Pada Koundinyasana II

(eh-KAH pa-dAH koon-din-YAHs-anna)

eka: single, one
pada: leg, foot
Koundinya: the sage to which this asana is dedicated
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

Koundinya the sage was said to be created by Parvati, reincarnation of Sati and wife to Shiva. Parvati created Koundinya in order to collect and ferment sap from wild date palms, creating alcohol for gods and men alike.
We are constantly researching to find more information about the history and mythology behind each pose. If you have any further information, we’d love to hear from you.