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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Viparita Virabhadrasana: Reverse Warrior Pose

Virabhadrasana

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

In viparita virabhadrasana (VIP-uh-REE-tuh veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh), experience a member of the “warrior” family with an incredible opening in the side of the torso as well as the stretching the legs. By giving the side of your heart an opportunity to shine (as a side bend rather than a back bend), this posture offers all sorts of positive vibes, including a boost of self-esteem and perseverance.

Philosophy + Origin

The general definition of a warrior is someone who “engages in warfare,” which conjures up images of battlefields, weapons, and violence. The power of reverse warrior is to “turn around” this imagery to think about warriorship in different contexts. The idea of a peaceful warrior, or even a light warrior, is used in yoga to remind students that showing up with love and intention in day-to-day life is just as important, if not more so. When practicing reverse warrior, ask yourself to consider definitions or beliefs in your life from another perspective. There are two sides to each coin, and the better you know both sides, the better prepared you will be to live your life with steadiness, grace, and ease.

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