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Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

Sage Koundinya Pose II, or Eka Pada Koundinyasana II, is an advanced arm balance that requires significant core strength, arm stability, and hip flexibility. In this pose, the body is supported by the arms while one leg extends forward and the other stretches back, creating a graceful yet powerful posture. Named after the sage Koundinya, this pose embodies the balance of strength and serenity.

Sage Koundinya Pose II

The name Eka Pada Koundinyasana II comes from Sanskrit:

  • Eka means "one."

  • Pada means "foot" or "leg."

  • Koundinya refers to the sage Koundinya.

  • Asana means "pose" or "posture."

Thus, Eka Pada Koundinyasana II translates to "One-Legged Pose Dedicated to Sage Koundinya II," highlighting the single-legged nature of the posture and its dedication to the sage.


Eka Pada Koundinyasana II is pronounced as "eh-kah pah-dah koun-deen-yah-suh-nuh too":

  • Eka sounds like "eh-kah."

  • Pada sounds like "pah-dah."

  • Koundinya sounds like "koun-deen-yah."

  • Asana sounds like "ah-suh-nuh."


Anatomy of Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

This pose engages multiple muscle groups and joints, making it a comprehensive workout:

  • Arms and Shoulders: Strengthens the deltoids, triceps, and biceps, as well as the muscles around the shoulder girdle.

  • Core: Engages the abdominals, obliques, and lower back muscles for stability.

  • Hips: Requires flexibility in the hip flexors and adductors.

  • Wrists: Builds strength and stability in the wrists.

  • Legs: Involves the quadriceps and hamstrings for support and extension.


Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II): Steps/Instructions

  1. Start in Plank Pose: Begin in a strong Plank Pose with your shoulders stacked over your wrists.

  2. Transition to Three-Legged Plank: Lift your right leg off the ground and extend it straight back.

  3. Bring the Knee Forward: Bend your right knee and bring it towards your right tricep.

  4. Shift Forward and Lower: Shift your body weight forward, lowering your torso to hover just above the ground.

  5. Extend the Legs: Extend your right leg forward and your left leg back, straightening both legs.

  6. Balance and Engage: Engage your core, press firmly through your hands, and keep your gaze slightly forward.

  7. Hold the Pose: Maintain the pose for a few breaths, focusing on balance and stability.

  8. Release and Switch Sides: Slowly release the pose and return to the Plank Pose before switching sides.

Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

When to Do It

Sage Koundinya Pose II is best practiced when your body is warmed up and your mind is focused. It can be incorporated into a morning practice to energize your day or as a part of an evening routine to challenge your strength and balance.


Preparatory Poses

To prepare your body for Eka Pada Koundinyasana II, consider incorporating these poses:

  • Plank Pose (Phalakasana): Builds core and arm strength.

  • Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana): Enhances balance and strengthens the arms.

  • Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana): Opens the hips and strengthens the legs.

  • Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana): Increases hip flexibility and prepares the body for deeper stretches.

  • Crow Pose (Bakasana): Introduces arm balance and strengthens the upper body.


Follow-Up Poses

After practicing Eka Pada Koundinyasana II, it’s important to stretch and release the muscles that were engaged:

  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Stretches the entire body and helps release tension.

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana): Provides a gentle stretch for the back and shoulders while offering rest.

  • Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana): Deeply stretches the hips.

  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Stretches the hamstrings and lower back.


Chakra

Eka Pada Koundinyasana II is connected to the Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra), which governs personal power, confidence, and transformation. Activating this chakra through the pose enhances your sense of inner strength and self-assurance.

Manipura Chakra


Mantra

A powerful mantra to chant during Eka Pada Koundinyasana II is "Om Ram." This mantra activates the Manipura Chakra, enhancing inner strength and self-assurance. Chanting "Om Ram" while holding the pose can deepen your connection to your personal power and help you maintain focus.

"Om Ram"

Alignment Cues

Proper alignment is crucial for stability and safety in Eka Pada Koundinyasana II. Here are some key alignment cues:

  • Keep your gaze forward: This helps maintain balance and focus.

  • Engage your core: Draw your belly button towards your spine for stability.

  • Distribute weight evenly: Ensure even weight distribution between your hands and the supporting leg.

  • Keep the extended legs active: Engage the muscles of both legs to maintain their alignment.

  • Press through your hands: Firmly press into the ground to support your body weight.


Duration of Hold

Hold Eka Pada Koundinyasana II for 5-10 breaths initially. As you build strength and confidence, gradually increase the duration. Focus on maintaining steady, controlled breaths throughout the hold.


Drishti (Gaze)

Your drishti, or gaze, should be slightly forward and down. This helps maintain balance and focus, preventing you from looking around and losing your stability.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

Physically, Eka Pada Koundinyasana II builds upper body strength, core stability, and hip flexibility. Spiritually, it fosters focus, determination, and a sense of lightness. Embracing the balance and challenge of this pose can inspire a deeper connection to your inner strength and resilience.


Beginners’ Tips

Eka Pada Koundinyasana II can be challenging, especially for beginners. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start with a Block: Use a block under your hands for added height and support.

  • Practice Near a Wall: Use a wall for balance and safety as you build confidence.

  • Focus on Core Engagement: A strong core is crucial for lifting and balancing. Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your practice.

  • Be Patient: Progress may be slow, but consistency and practice will yield results. Celebrate small victories along the way.


Who Should Not Do It

Certain individuals should avoid Eka Pada Koundinyasana II to prevent injury:

  • Pregnant Women: The pose can strain the abdominal muscles and is not recommended during pregnancy.

  • Individuals with Wrist, Shoulder, or Elbow Injuries: The pose places significant weight on the upper body, which can exacerbate existing injuries.

  • People with High Blood Pressure: The pose can increase blood pressure, making it unsafe for those with hypertension.

  • Those with Severe Balance Issues: The pose requires a strong sense of balance, and those with severe balance issues should avoid it.


Who Should Do It

Eka Pada Koundinyasana II is beneficial for:

  • Anyone Looking to Build Upper Body and Core Strength: They pose challenges and strengthen the arms, shoulders, and core.

  • Yogis Seeking to Enhance Balance and Focus: The balance required in this pose improves overall coordination and concentration.

  • Individuals Aiming to Increase Hip Flexibility: The pose opens and stretches the hip flexors and adductors.

  • Those Wanting to Challenge Themselves and Build Confidence: The pose encourages overcoming fear and embracing new challenges.


Benefits of Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

Incorporating Eka Pada Koundinyasana II into your practice offers numerous benefits:

  • Strengthens Arms, Shoulders, and Core: Builds muscle endurance and power.

  • Improves Balance and Coordination: Enhances your sense of equilibrium.

  • Enhances Hip Flexibility: Opens and stretches the hip flexors and adductors.

  • Boosts Confidence and Courage: Overcoming the challenge of the pose builds self-esteem.

  • Stretches and Strengthens Wrists: Promotes wrist flexibility and strength.

  • Activates the Manipura Chakra: Foster's inner strength and personal transformation.


Variations of Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

  • Easier Variation: Keep the supporting leg bent and the foot on the ground to reduce the difficulty.

  • Advanced Variation: Lift both legs off the ground, balancing only on your hands for an added challenge.


Modifications for Sage Koundinya Pose II (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

Modifications can make the pose more accessible:

  • Use Props: Blocks or bolsters can provide additional support.

  • Adjust the Leg Position: Place the extended leg lower or higher on the arm for different levels of challenge.

  • Practice Partial Lifts: Focus on lifting the supporting foot off the ground while keeping the extended leg on the floor.


Common Mistakes

Avoid these common mistakes to ensure a safe and effective practice:

  • Rushing Into the Pose: Take your time to properly align and engage muscles.

  • Ignoring Core Engagement: A weak core can lead to instability and falls.

  • Overlooking Wrist Alignment: Ensure wrists are directly under the shoulders to prevent strain.

  • Holding Your Breath: Maintain steady, controlled breaths throughout the pose.


Safety and Precautions

Safety is paramount in Eka Pada Koundinyasana II:

  • Warm-Up Thoroughly: Ensure your body is adequately warmed up before attempting the pose.

  • Listen to Your Body: Avoid pushing beyond your limits and respect your body's signals.

  • Practice on a Non-Slip Surface: Use a sticky yoga mat to prevent slipping.

  • Seek Guidance: If you're new to the pose, practice under the guidance of a qualified instructor.


Additional Preparation Tips

Direction to Face: Face east during your practice to harness the energy of the rising sun, symbolizing new beginnings and growth.

What to Wear: Opt for fitted, stretchy clothing that allows for a full range of motion without restricting movement.

Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance: Practice in a quiet, clutter-free space with good ventilation. Use essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender to create a calming atmosphere.

Music for This Pose: Choose instrumental or nature-inspired music to maintain focus and relaxation. Avoid lyrics that can distract your attention.


Embrace the challenge of Sage Koundinya Pose II with patience and determination. Each attempt, whether successful or not, is a step forward in your yoga journey. Remember, it's not about perfection but progress. Enjoy the process, celebrate your efforts, and let the balance of Eka Pada Koundinyasana II inspire your practice.



Happy yoga-ing, everyone! Namaste!



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Jun 15
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is one of the toughest pose for me. I am trying the prep poses and its definitely helping me. Thanks. Sending gratitude for the knowledge shared. ❤️🌹

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Your feedback is much appreciated. Keep exploring and finding what works best for you. Namaste 🙏💜

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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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