Eight Angle pose (Astavakrasana in Sanskrit) is an intermediate to advanced level yoga pose. This asana is good for strengthening the arms and upper body. It also helps with toning the abdominal muscles. Eight angle pose requires strength and balance. The pose has many components, so take it step by step and move slowly into and out of the pose.
To move into eight angle pose, begin in mountain pose. Move the feet a little apart and move into standing forward bend. From standing forward bend, gently bend the knees slightly and press the hands into the mat next to your feet.
Take your right arm and thread it through the legs and behind the right leg. Press the right hand to the floor beside the outer right foot. Use your right knee to brace the shoulder and move the left foot to the right and cross the ankles.
The next step requires strength and balance. Shift the weight to the left arm and lift the feet slightly off the floor. Exhale and bend the elbows. Begin to lower the torso to bring it parallel to the floor and extend the legs. Squeeze the arm between the thighs, tuck the elbows close to the body and twist slightly to the left.
Hold the pose for at least thirty seconds before moving out of the pose. Unwind the body slowly by straightening the arms, uncross the ankles and bring the feet back to the floor. Move back into standing forward bend and then return to mountain pose. As always, repeat the sequence on the other side of the body.
This pose requires balance to maintain. In the beginning, you can use a cushion or bolster under the outer leg to help you stay balanced in the pose. As you become more comfortable in this pose, you won’t need the cushion.