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Filtering by Tag: arm balance

Flying pigeon pose or eka pada galavasana

Olivia Marley

I posted the photo at the top of this page - of flying pigeon or eka pada galavasana - on my Instagram recently. And then had a few requests for tips on how to actually get into it.... Sorry guys- that's what I should have done first time round! Anyway, here's my five steps for working towards getting that back foot off the floor in this posture. Before you begin warm up the outside of your hips with thread the needle or pigeon prep pose, and make sure your arms will be able to support your weight by checking you've got a solid chaturanga dandasana/ low plank position (see my earlier post on chaturanga if you're unsure!). And back off if anything (especially your top knee) hurts.

1. Take your weight on to your right foot, lift your left leg and flex that foot (ie draw your toes back towards your shin). Place the outside of your left ankle above your right knee. Bend your standing leg a little and start to move your hips back. Hands in prayer (photo 1) 

2.  Sit lower by bending your standing knee and moving your hips back. Keep your top foot flexed. If the stretch in your top hip starts to get too intense stop where you are. Otherwise move towards touching your forearms to your top shin. Stopping whenever you need to, work towards bringing fingertips on to the floor (photo 2) 

3. Flex your left foot around your right arm, so that your toes kind of wrap around the outside of your upper arm. Bring your hands flat on to the floor. Work your arms underneath your top leg until your shin is in your armpits (photo 3)

4. Move your hands a step forwards. Draw your shoulders down your back, keep your elbows in by your sides and grip the floor with your fingertips. Start to take more weight on your hands (photo 4)

5. Keep moving your weight forwards until your back foot gets so light it can lift. You may find you need to play with shifting your weight back and forth from hands to foot for a while to get used to it before you can lift your foot. Look forwards, not down! (photo 5) 

Then once you've mastered each of these steps, the next stage is to start straightening your top leg towards the full posture (see here if you're not sure what that looks like). Repeat on the other side ✨

Step by step: eight angled pose or astavakrasana

Olivia Marley

I've had some requests from students for content to help them practice at home some of the poses we tackle in class. So after posting a picture of this posture on my Instagram, here's our first instalment: my step by step guide to lift off in astavakrasana or eight angled pose 🚀

1. Start sitting cross legged. Bring your right shin so it's parallel to the floor. Take hold of either side of your right foot and draw your right knee back towards the wall behind you (photo 1) 

2. Take your right arm underneath your right shin, then take a couple of goes to get that leg as high up on your arm as you can. Squeeze your right leg into your right arm strongly, otherwise it'll slide down when you move your hands. Place your hands on the floor either side of you (photo 2- comedy facial expression optional)

3. Lift your left leg and hook your left ankle on top of your right. Squeeze your legs tightly together on to your arm (photo 3)

4. Keep your elbows stacked over your wrists, but bend your elbows so that your chest moves forward and your hips slide back. If sliding your hips back while on your sticky mat is difficult, trying coming off your mat on to a more slippery surface like a wooden floor. Squeeze your legs together at the same as extending them away from you (photo 4) 

5. Engage your core muscles. Keep your elbows bent and chest but lift your hips off the floor, while squeezing your legs together and lengthening them away from you (tip: elbows must bend- don't try and pick yourself up by straightening your arms!) (photo 5) 

And now try on the other side! Hope this helps- if you have any questions please just leave us a comment or send me a message!