Eka Pada Hastasana is a seated asymmetrical yoga asana in which the legs are open wide and the body folds over one leg, taking the opposite hand across to the foot. It is beneficial on more than a physical level because it is thought to be a very calming and soothing posture.
Its name comes from the Sanskrit, eka, which means “one,” and pada, which means “foot,” hasta, which means “hand,” and asana, which means “posture” or “seat.” It may also be known in English as hand-to-leg forward bend sitting.
Benefits of Eka Pada Hastasana
As with other variations on the wide-legged forward fold, eka pada hastasana is thought to be helpful for:
- Reducing fatigue
- Calming the mind
- Easing headaches
- Relieving symptoms of mild depression
The asymmetrical nature of eka pada hastasana may provide additional stimulation into the abdominal area, as well as for the nerves and musculature around the spine.
The posture is connected with muladhara, the root chakra. Traditionally in yoga, practicing postures associated with muladhara is thought to help the yogi to feel more grounded, safe and secure. It may promote feelings of well-being and contentedness.
Step the feet as far away from each other as possible. Place the right foot at a 45 degree angle to the left foot. (The angle may vary as per the convenience of every individual.) Square the hips to the left. Align the feet such that the heel of the left foot is in line with the arch of the right foot. Keep the legs straight. Relax in the final pose and breathe normally. Engage Jalandhar Bandha if the forehead is touching the knee. This increases the stretch in the back of the body.
Hunch the back or bend the left leg in order to touch the forehead to the knee. Bend the arms.
Precautions & contraindications:
Surgery or joint injury in the legs, pelvis, lower back and waist. Slipped disc or sciatica. High blood pressure.