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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Phalakasana: Plank Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Phalakasana (fall-ack-AHS-anna), is an essential posture for a strong yoga practice. Holding plank pose will improve your endurance and muscle tone, help develop the strength needed for more complex poses, and generate heat and stimulating the navel chakra.

Philosophy + Origin

Hidden in the pose’s name is the Sanskrit word “phala,” which means to bear fruit or ripen. In yoga, the idea of tapas, often translated as “heat,” “passion,” or “discipline,” fuels the physical asana practice, encouraging students to seek out the challenge again and again in order to become stronger, to build an internal flame in the body that fuels every aspect of life. When you think of plank pose as an opportunity to “ripen” or “bear fruit,” you become aware of the transformative effect of this seemingly simple (although challenging) pose. Each time you enter the pose, use the breath to ripen the fruit of your labors. The ability to hold this pose with steadiness and grace is known to create major shifts in your practice and your life.

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