JOURNEY TO TWISTED ARM BALANCE(EKA PADA KOUNDINYASANA I)
This sequence will help you get into Eka Pada Koundinyasana feeling grounded, connected and strong. Each pose will prepare our body for the intense twist/arm balance that this asana is.
Plank (hold 5 breaths) Find your Tadasana in your Plank. Inwardly rotate your inner thighs, tuck the tailbone under, draw the belly in and the chest forward, spread the collarbones away from the sternum as you draw the shoulder blades towards one another. Finally draw the heals back and the crown of the head forward to gain length.
Knee to nose pose (right left centre/hold 5 breaths) From Plank. Inhale, lift the right leg up into 3-legged dog. Exhale, bring your knee to your nose. Repeat by bringing your knee to your left elbow, then to your right elbow and finally back to centre. Gaze forward and step your right foot in between your hands. Then move your left hand forward a foot’s length and at the same time lift your left leg up and your right hand to the sky (into Twisted Half Moon).
Twisted Half Moon/Ardha Chandrasana (hold 5 breaths) Work with your breath and your bandhas to gain stability. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and twist your upper body and your gaze towards the ceiling. To enhance your alignment, extend your left leg back by pushing through the heel and extend your head forwards.
High Lunge (open in twist/hold 5 breaths) From Twisted Half Moon bring your left foot down to the back of your mat and lift both arms up into High Lunge. Tuck your tailbone under, draw your belly in and melt and expand through the heart and the col- larbones. Bend your front knee to stack it directly above the ankle and straighten your back leg. Finally gaze up without straining your neck. Inhale and as you exhale twist from the belly. Open your arms to the side and gaze back over the middle finger of your right hand.
Twisted side angle/Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (hold 5 breaths) From there, bring your hands to your heart and twist your upper body, hooking your left elbow outside your right knee. Gaze down at the floor as you lengthen your spine and lift your belly away from your front thigh. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and twist your upper body and gaze towards the ceiling. To enhance your alignment, extend your left leg back and extend the crown of your head forwards.
Eka Pada Koundinyasana I (hold 5 breaths) Keep the integrity of the twist from Parvritta parsvakonasana as you place both hands on the floor outside of your right foot, shoulder width apart. Move the torso forward as you squeeze your right leg into the upper arm and squeeze the midline to keep the twist in the belly. As you bend your elbows to a 90° angle, shift your weight forwards, lifting from the core. Stretch your front leg and lift your back leg off the floor. Work at keep- ing your legs straight as you breathe deeply through the pose and find a place of surrender in the effort.