Eka Hasta Bhujasana: The Elephant’s Trunk Pose

Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Eh-kah Ha-stah Boo-JAS-ah-nah), also known as the Elephant’s Trunk Pose, is a unique arm balance that stabilizes the pelvic girdle while opening your hips, improving balance and coordination. During each exercise, make sure to maintain a focus on your breathing. This attention to breathing will hone your attention, focusing your mind on the constant change as you breathe in and out.

Sanskrit:

  • Eka: one
  • Hasta: hand
  • Bhjua: arm
  • Asana: pose

Philosophy and Origins:

In general, yoga asanas help us bring together distracted, divergent and wayward energies, forging them together into an integrated, coherent state. Arm balance poses, like the Elephant’s Trunk Pose, help to connect our lower and upper extremities, awakening a direct and naturally centered energy in the pelvis and navel area. This energy can then be drawn into the higher centers of our bodies, such as the heart, throat and mind.

Tips:

This challenging pose stretches the arms, hips, shoulders, and pelvis. While this can help with relief from discomfort and prevent strain, exercise caution. Go slowly and don’t push your body beyond its limits.

Level:

Advanced (3)

Physical Benefits:

  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • Opens your hips
  • Stabilizes your pelvic girdle

Energetic Benefits:

  • Improves balance and coordination

Mudra: Gyan Mudra

While practicing this pose, focus on the presence of knowledge and wisdom within your energies. This mudra is a representation of these qualities and symbolizes the planet Jupiter. The Gyan Mudra when practiced with your exercise can help to balance you body, increasing and enhancing the sharpness of brain functions like memory, concentration and happiness. This mudra also has energetic benefits that help with insomnia, laziness, hysteria and depression.

How to: Connect the thumb and index finger together (representative of Fire and Air). Keep the remaining fingers stretched out.

Mantra:

Ram

This mantra has taken on a variety of meanings throughout its existence. Many attribute Ram as a symbol of daily life and acts of worship. This mantra is believed to help with the realignment and reorientation of our most pure and true selves. As this pose connects our extreme energies and centers us, the Ram mantra helps us to realize this true self and appreciate our energy, wisdom, and compassion.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Double Pigeon
  • Sukasana
  • Dandasana
  • Chaturanga Dandasana
  • High Lunge
  • Paripurna Navasana
  • Ardha Matseyendrasana
  • Marichyasana
  • Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Follow-Up Poses:

  • Astavakrasana
  • Janu Sirasana
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Savasana

Contraindications and Cautions:

This pose is a challenging arm balance that requires you engage all four corners of your palms to avoid wrist complications. You should check with a doctor before performing the pose if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Wrist, shoulder or hip injury

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • Try lifting up in a cross-legged or lotus position first
  • Use blocks for increased elevation

Step-By-Step:

  1. Start seated in Dandasana, Seated Staff Pose. Draw your right knee into your chest. Place your right foot on the ground.
  2. Tiptoe your right foot out to your right. Thread your right arm underneath your right knee and place your hand on the ground with the fingers pointing forward. Place your left hand on the ground outside your left hip on an equal plane with your right.
  3. Walk your right leg up your right arm until the crease of your knee comes to rest on your right triceps. Hug your leg into your arm and your arm into your leg. Keep the right knee bent and the right foot pointed.
  4. Press into your hands to lift your hips and left leg off the ground. Point both feet.
  5. Hold. To exit, sit down on an exhalation. Repeat on the opposite side.

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