Astavakrasana is dedicated to the sage Astavakra, the spiritual preceptor of King Janaka of Mithila, who was the father of Sita. Astavakrasana is given in two stages.
- Stand with the feet about 18 inches apart.
- Bend the knees, rest the right palm on the floor between the feet and place the left palm on the floor just beyond the left foot.
- Bring the right leg over the right arm and rest the back of the right thigh on the back of the right arm just above the elbow. Bring the left leg forward between the arms but close to the right one.
- Exhale and lift both the legs off the floor. Interlock the legs by placing the left foot upon the right at the ankle and extend the legs sideways to the right. The right arm will be gripped between the thighs and will be slightly bent at the elbow. The left arm should be straight. Balance on the hands for some time in this position with normal breathing. This is the first stage.
- Now exhale, bend the elbows and lower the trunk and head until they are parallel to the floor. Move the head and trunk from side to side while breathing normally. This is the second stage.
- Inhale, straighten the arms, raise the trunk , uncross and release the legs and lower them to the floor.
- Repeat the pose on the other side, reading the word left for right and vice versa in positions 2 to 5 above.
Effects of Astavakrasana
Astavakrasana strengthens the wrists and arms and also develops the muscles of the abdomen.
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