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Sage Koundinya’s Pose I (Eka Pada Kundinyasana I)

Eka Pada Kundinyasana I, or Sage Koundinya’s Pose I, is a challenging arm balance that demands strength, flexibility, and mental focus. This advanced asana (pose) requires a delicate blend of core engagement, arm strength, and hip flexibility, making it a popular yet demanding choice among seasoned yogis.

Sage Koundinya’s Pose I (Eka Pada Kundinyasana I)

The name "Eka Pada Kundinyasana I" is derived from Sanskrit, where 'Eka' means one, 'Pada' means foot or leg, and 'Kundinyasana' refers to the sage Koundinya, an ancient Indian sage. Therefore, Eka Pada Kundinyasana translates to 'One-Legged Pose Dedicated to Sage Koundinya.' This pose symbolizes the merging of physical prowess and spiritual insight.


Eka Pada Kundinyasana I is pronounced as:

  • Eka: Ay-kah

  • Pada: Pah-dah

  • Kundinyasana: Kun-din-yah-sah-nah


Anatomy of Sage Koundinya’s Pose I (Eka Pada Kundinyasana I)

Understanding the anatomy involved in Eka Pada Kundinyasana I can help you appreciate the depth and complexity of this pose. Key muscles and joints engaged include:

  • Shoulders and Arms: Deltoids, triceps, and biceps for stability and strength.

  • Core: Abdominals, obliques, and lower back muscles for balance and lift.

  • Hips and Legs: Hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps for flexibility and extension.

  • Wrists: Stability and weight-bearing.


Sage Koundinya’s Pose I: Steps / Instructions

  1. Start in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Begin by grounding yourself and preparing your body.

  2. Move to Three-Legged Dog (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana): Lift your right leg high, ensuring it stays straight and strong.

  3. Shift Forward: Move your weight forward into a high plank position with your right leg still lifted.

  4. Bring Knee to Tricep: Draw your right knee towards your right tricep, engaging your core.

  5. Place Right Knee on Right Tricep: Rest your knee on the back of your upper arm.

  6. Lift Left Leg: Slowly extend your left leg back, keeping it straight and strong.

  7. Balance and Hold: Find your balance, engage your core, and hold the position.

Sage Koundinya’s Pose I (Eka Pada Kundinyasana I)


When to do it

Eka Pada Kundinyasana I is best practiced during the middle of your yoga session when your body is warmed up and your mind is focused. Morning sessions can be invigorating, while evening practices can help you wind down with a sense of accomplishment.


Preparatory Poses

Before attempting Eka Pada Kundinyasana I, it’s beneficial to prepare your body with the following poses:

  • Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

  • Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)

  • Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

  • Crow Pose (Bakasana)

  • Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)


Follow up Poses

After holding Eka Pada Kundinyasana I, cool down and balance your body with:

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

  • Reclining Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)


Chakra

Eka Pada Kundinyasana I is primarily associated with the Manipura Chakra, the solar plexus chakra. This chakra governs personal power, self-esteem, and transformation. Engaging this chakra through this pose can enhance your inner strength and confidence.

Manipura Chakra (solar plexus chakra)

Mantra for this Pose

A powerful mantra to accompany Eka Pada Kundinyasana I is: “Om Mani Padme Hum.” This mantra invokes compassion, strength, and the dissolution of obstacles, aligning with the pose's challenging nature.


Alignment Cues

  • Shoulders: Keep them aligned and away from the ears.

  • Core: Engage your abdominal muscles to support your lower back.

  • Arms: Ensure your elbows are stacked over your wrists.

  • Legs: Keep the extended leg straight and the lifted knee firm against your tricep.


Duration of Hold

Hold Eka Pada Kundinyasana I for 5-10 breaths initially, gradually increasing the duration as your strength and balance improve.


Drishti

Your drishti (gaze) should be forward or slightly ahead on the ground, maintaining focus and aiding in balance.


Physical & Spiritual Awareness

Physically, Eka Pada Kundinyasana I demands intense focus on balance, strength, and flexibility. Spiritually, it encourages determination, resilience, and inner strength, promoting a deep sense of accomplishment and empowerment.


Beginners’ Tips

  • Use Props: Place a block under your lifted leg for additional support.

  • Practice Balance: Work on simpler arm balances like Crow Pose to build confidence.

  • Strengthen Core: Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your routine.


Who Should Not Do It

  • Individuals with wrist, shoulder, or back injuries should avoid this pose.

  • Those who are new to yoga or have limited upper body strength and flexibility should practice under supervision or avoid it.


Who Should Do It

  • Experienced yogis looking to deepen their arm balance practice.

  • Individuals seeking to improve their core strength, balance, and mental focus.

  • Those who enjoy challenging poses and pushing their limits.


Benefits of Eka Pada Kundinyasana I (Sage Koundinya’s Pose I)

  • Strengthens Arms and Wrists: Enhances upper body strength.

  • Improves Core Strength: Engages and strengthens the abdominal muscles.

  • Increases Flexibility: Opens the hips and hamstrings.

  • Boosts Balance and Coordination: Develops a strong sense of balance.

  • Enhances Focus and Concentration: Requires intense mental focus, aiding in mindfulness.


Variations of Eka Pada Kundinyasana I (Sage Koundinya’s Pose I)

  • Eka Pada Kundinyasana II: Involves a different leg position and balance technique.

  • Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana): A preparatory variation that can build strength and balance for the full pose.


Modifications for Eka Pada Kundinyasana I (Sage Koundinya’s Pose I)

  • Use a Block: Place a block under your lifted leg for additional support.

  • Wall Support: Practice against a wall for extra stability.

  • Partner Assistance: Have a partner support your extended leg to help you find balance.


Common Mistakes

  • Drooping Shoulders: Keep shoulders lifted and away from the ears.

  • Unengaged Core: Ensure your core is engaged to support your lower back.

  • Bent Extended Leg: Keep the extended leg straight and strong.


Safety and Precautions

  • Warm Up Properly: Ensure your body is adequately warmed up to prevent injuries.

  • Listen to Your Body: Do not push beyond your limits; honor your body’s capabilities.

  • Seek Guidance: Practice under the supervision of a qualified instructor if you’re unsure.


Additional Preparation Tips

Direction to Face While Doing This Pose and Why

Face east, the direction of the rising sun, symbolizing new beginnings and clarity.


What to Wear for This Pose

Wear fitted, flexible clothing that allows for a full range of motion without slipping or restricting.


Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance

Practice in a quiet, clean space with enough room to move freely. Use essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus for a refreshing and invigorating atmosphere.


Music for This Pose

Choose calm, instrumental music that helps maintain focus and enhances your sense of balance. Soft, rhythmic tunes can aid concentration and create a serene practice environment.


By incorporating these tips and understanding the depth of Eka Pada Kundinyasana I, you can approach this challenging pose with confidence, aligning your physical practice with spiritual growth. Remember, yoga is a journey, and each step, no matter how small, brings you closer to inner harmony and strength.



Happy Yoga-ing!

Namaste!



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6 comments

6 Comments

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Guest
Jun 18
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The activation of core and biceps after this pose is out of this world.

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Replying to

It’s amazing. Sending more power and positivity your way. Namaste 🙏💜

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Guest
Jun 18
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Yes. 100% I do love pigeon pose before this pose. Helps a lot.

Sending love and gratitude.

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Replying to

That's wonderful to hear! Sending love and gratitude back to you! Namaste 🙏💜

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Guest
Jun 18
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Namaste! Aapke blog padhke bohot benefit hota hai. Mantra and chakra ke knowledge se mere students ko fayda hi fayda hua. Dhyanwaad.


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Replying to

Yeh sunke khushi hui ki aapko information helpful lagi. Aapke feedback ke liye Dhanyavaad!. 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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