To strengthen wrists and arms, improve balance, and tone the abdominal muscles. Given the twisting nature of the spine, Eight-Angle pose also aids with digestion and the elimination of toxins from the body.
Safety Instructions and Technique:
- Begin seated in Dandasana (Stick Pose), with both legs extended out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee towards your chest, then bring your right arm to the inside of your bent right leg.
- Take a hold of your right foot or ankle with both hands and begin to snuggle the underside of your right knee behind your right shoulder, as if you’re pulling on the strap of a backpack. Hook your right leg as firmly behind the right shoulder as you can.
- Keeping the calf of the right leg hugging firmly behind the right shoulder, place your palms down on either side of your hips. Spread the fingers wide, keep the chest lifted and the collarbone as broad as you can.
- Maintaining the hug of the right leg around the shoulder and the palms planted on the ground, pick up the left leg and lightly cross your left ankle over your right.
- Begin to bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle and extend the heart forward. Keep the legs squeezing firmly and extend them as straight as you can.
Be careful about tendency for the left shoulder to collapse here, and keep both shoulder heads lifted and level with one another. Stay here for 3-5 full breaths, then gently lift the torso, straighten the arms, and set your bottom back down on the ground to come out of the pose. Whenever you feel ready, repeat on the other side.
NOTE: Avoid this pose if you suffer from heart ailments, high blood pressure, back conditions, or problems with the hips.