Elephant’s Trunk Pose Yoga: Eka Hasta Bhujasana

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Eka hasta bhujasana (Eh-kah Ha-stah Boo-JAS-ah-nah) is a unique arm balance that stabilizes the pelvic girdle while opening your hips, improving balance and coordination.

SANSKRIT:

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

PHILOSOPHY AND ORIGIN:

In general, yoga asanas help us bring together distracted or wayward energies, forging them together into an integrated, coherent state. Arm balance poses like 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.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

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

PREPARATORY POSES:

  • Staff pose | Dandasana
  • High to mid plank | Chaturanga dandasana
  • Boat pose | Navasana

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

  • Eight angle pose | Astavakrasana
  • Compass pose | Parivrtta surya yantrasana
  • Heron pose | Krounchasana

COUNTER POSES:

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Try lifting up with the lower leg tucked in rather than extended out in front.
  • Place a block under your extended heel to help lift the leg.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin seated with your legs out in front of you (dandasana). Bend your right knee toward your chest and place your 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 for 3-5 breaths, then gently release. Repeat on the other side.

 

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Natarajasana: Lord of the Dance Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Natarajasana (not-ah-raj-AHS-anna) is a physically challenging, beautiful pose that requires flexibility in the spine, legs, and hips. To practice the pose,  use a thoughtful sequence filled with plenty of preparatory poses in order to make sure your body – and mind – are adequately prepared. Regular practice will help develop strong mental fortitude and determined concentration.

Philosophy + Origin

A physical embodiment of King Nataraja, a form of the lord Shiva, lord of the dance pose (also referred to as king dancer pose) is a tribute to this powerful god of destruction. Embracing destruction and even death as part of the cycle of change and growth, this pose is a helpful reminder that no good can exist without evil, no birth without death.

In most depictions of King Nataraja, he is standing on one leg (hence the shape of the pose), gazing over the head of a small dwarf, whose presence represents ignorance. In this way, lord of the dance pose encourages our consciousness to elevate above ignorance, above the common thoughts and misunderstandings that cloud our view. The balance that comes from the pose awakens our understanding that clarity brings steadiness.

Read Article

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