Visvamitra’s Yoga Pose
overview

Visvamitra’s Yoga Pose is an arm balance pose that targets the hamstrings and lats and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an advanced level.

anahata – the heart chakra
related poses
How To Do Visvamitra's Yoga Pose
  1. Begin in Child’s Pose (Balasana), then continue into Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Hold this pose for a few breaths. When you feel stable, inhale and step your right foot forward, placing your foot on the inside of your right hand with knee nestled under the armpit. Keep your left foot flat, allowing the toes to pivot outward until they are pointing away from the body.
  2. Lift your right hand to bring it around the front of your foot. Bring your right shoulder underneath your knee, then place your hand on the outside of the right foot once again. Walk both hands back a few inches. Your foot should be just to the right of your face, elbows bent with hands directly under the elbows. Hold this pose for a few breaths.
  3. If you are ready to move into the full position, keep your back left foot firmly planted. Turn the foot out if necessary so that it is pointing directly away from the left side of your body, pressing the outer edge into the mat. Lift your left thigh upward toward the ceiling, allowing your body to drop slightly to the left. Keep your right arm strong and steady to support the weight of the right leg. Keep your left foot and right hand flat against the mat.
  4. When you feel stable, lift your left hand and wrap your hand around the top of the right foot. Inhale as you extend the right leg, straightening it out so that the bottom of your foot is facing directly in front of you. Continue to keep a firm hold on the foot, lifting your arm and elbow to go around and over the head. Both legs should be completely straight with an angled line connecting the left foot to the right.
  5. Hold this pose for a few breaths, opening up your chest toward the ceiling. Gaze gently down toward the fingers of your grounded hand. To come out, release your left hand from your foot and bend your right knee, lowering the leg. Step back immediately to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat all steps with the other leg.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • This pose is an advanced yoga pose. If you are a beginner or have tight hamstrings, do not attempt this pose. If you are trying this pose for the first time, do so with a trainer or partner present.
  • Do not perform if you have pain or injury in the wrists, hamstrings or pelvic region.
  • Be sure to keep your weight lifted as you allow body to drop slightly in step 3. If you feel yourself slouching your weight onto your front leg, press firmly into your planted hand to lift your hips and pelvis.
Tips

If you are just starting out or have tightness in the hamstrings, try a variation of this pose, Arhda Visvamitrasana. This half-pose utilizes the same steps as the full pose, except instead of keeping the back left straight, the knee is lowered to the ground. Before bringing the front shoulder underneath the knee, lower the back knee to the floor. When you have extended the leg, your back foot should be perpendicular to your body, heel lifted and the ball of the foot and toes pressed into the floor.
Prior to practicing Visvamitra’s Pose. be sure to practice some hip and hamstring openers.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, quads, calves, chest, shoulders, lats, abs, biceps, triceps

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, lats

Health Benefits of Visvamitra’s Yoga Pose
  • Improves balance and body awareness.
  • Opens the chest and waist.
  • Opens the hips.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Visvamitrasana

(VIS-vah-mi-TRAHs-anna)

Visvamitra: Saint Visvamitra, Indian sage
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

Visvamitra, a revered rishi or sage, was an ancient Indian king and warrior. Visvamitra was strong-willed but initially lacked spiritual strength, which made his trials more difficult (like the pose dedicated to him). During battle, he finally realized that he desired spiritual growth, and he began seeking penance in order to become a Brahmin. Visvamitra succeeded in his quest and is said to be one of the contributors to the Rigveda, a sacred Hindu collection of hymns.
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.