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Strike a Yoga Pose: One-Legged Arm Balance

Yoga Takes Flight: Arm Balancing Split

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Koundinyasana
English Translation: One-Legged Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya
Also Called: Arm Balancing Split or One-Legged Arm Balance

Become a Crow master already? It's time to tackle a more challenging pose. The Arm Balancing Split not only requires upper body and core strength, it also takes some major hamstring and hip flexibility. Graceful and bold, the pose may look too crazy to attempt, but if you follow these step-by-step instructions, you'll be mastering it in no time.

  • Come into Warrior 1 with your right foot forward. Lower your hands and back knee to the ground. Hold here for five breaths, stretching through the hips.
  • Pick up your back knee, balancing on the ball of the back foot. Crawl your right shoulder as far underneath your right thigh as possible, and plant your right hand next to the outside edge of your right foot. Hold for another five breaths, deepening the stretch.
  • Now rest the weight of your right hamstring on your upper right arm and pick your right foot off the ground. Work on straightening the leg in a Split position as much as you can.
  • From here, lower your torso so that your left elbow presses into your belly between your ribs and your hip. This is the most important step.
  • Press into your hands, lean your weight forward, and lift your left foot off the ground so you're balancing on both hands equally. Stay here for five breaths (or as many as you can) and then lower your feet to the ground. Step your right foot back and take a vinyasa (Chaturanga, Up Dog, Down Dog). Then step your left foot forward, rise into Warrior 1, and try these steps on the left side.
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