By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Eka Hasta Bhujasana is an advanced and challenging arm balancing pose. In this pose one leg is outstretched. The other leg is wrapped over upper arm as you balance on both hands. It builds up strength, balance and flexibility. It is called as ‘One hand over arm balance pose’. Since the pose appears like an elephant’s trunk, it is also called as ‘Elephant’s Trunk Pose’. It is also called as ‘Eka Pada Bhujasana’ – ‘One leg over arm / shoulder balance pose’.
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Eka = one
Hasta = hand
Bhuja = arm / shoulder
Asana = pose
Eka Hasta Bhujasana Eka Pada Bhujasana is basically an arm strengthening pose. It is an intermediate to advanced level pose. You will definitely need good wrists to do this. This pose demands wrist, arm, and neck and shoulder strength. It also requires strength from core, lower back and flexors of hips to do this pose.
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Preparation for Eka Pada Bhujasana
- This pose is done on empty stomach, early morning or 3-4 hours after food if it is practiced at some other part of the day.
- The practitioner should keep his or her bowel and bladder empty at the time of taking to the pose.
Method of doing Eka Hasta Bhujasana
Positioning for the pose
Sit in Dandasana. Warm ups hips and knees before you set into the pose
First bend left leg and take it towards body such that left foot faces towards right.
Warm up to hip – Hold left leg with hands and cuddle it as if you are carefully holding a baby. Right hand comes around foot such that the foot rests on the inside of right elbow. Left hand comes around left knee such that knee rests inside left elbow. Now clasp right and left hands on the outside of left leg. Now you have held left leg with both hands. With the help of hands cuddle leg side to side just like you cuddle the baby. This gives massage to hips. The leg is closer to chest now.
Warm up to knee – Support the inner knee on clasped hands. Lift leg up and down as if you are swinging it. Lift up with inhalation. Move down with exhalation. Do it a few times.
Warm up to knee and hip – Cross left leg across right leg and place right foot at the top of right thigh. Do the half butterfly here. Take knee to chest while inhaling. Bring it to the ground with exhalation. Do it few times.
Now that you have worked on the flexibility of knee and hip you are ready to go into the pose. You can do similar warm ups on the opposite side too.
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Performing the pose
Sit in Dandasana – the staff pose.
Bend left leg and keep left foot resting on the ground. Let the right leg be extended. Extend hands to the front.
Insert left arm under left inner thigh. Rest hands closer to hips. Now left knee is resting on left arm.
Look forward. Flex both right and left foot.
From here push on to the floor with both hands and lift yourself (butts) off the floor. You are supported on hands and heel of right leg which are pressing against the floor to give you the needed lift.
Hold here for 6-8 breaths. Release and come down.
Going to the next level
- You can further challenge yourself and do the final part of the pose.
- Lift hip / butts up keeping feet flexed and quads engaged.
- Now lift right leg too off the floor. Entire body is now supported in the air with the hands pushing into the floor.
- Look forward and breathe easily.
- Roll shoulders back but do not round them. keep them away from ears.
- Be here for 6-8 breaths.
Release from the pose
- Slowly bring right leg down.
- Bring sitting bones down to the floor.
- Release left knee off left shoulder.
- Extend left leg.
- Rest hands on the floor beside hips and come back to Dandasana.
- Repeat the same steps on the opposite side to complete once cycle of practice.
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- Strengthens wrist, arm and shoulders
- Stretches hips and groin
- Stretches the hips
- Increases flexibility of body parts and joints
- Improves balance and flexibility in body parts and joints
- Promotes core strength
- Improves balance
- Promotes inner strength
- Energizes body and mind
- Stabilizes pelvic girdle and opens hips
- Ashtavakrasana – Eight Angle Pose
- Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana – Compass Pose
- Krounchasana – Crane Pose
Modifications and adjustments
Initially you may use blocks placed on either side of hips. You can keep hands on these blocks instead of on the floor to help lift the body off the floor. Try doing the pose by keeping lower leg tucked instead of keeping it extended in front of you. Keep a block beneath extended heel. This will help you lift the leg.
Time spent in doing Eka Hasta Pada Bhujasana
Be in the pose for 30-60 seconds. You need to perform the pose for the same duration even on the opposite side.
Impact on Chakras
This pose awakens the Manipura Chakra – Naval Chakra. This in turn energizes body and mind. This chakra is associated with vitality, self esteem and power. Thus this pose has an impact on these virtues too.
This pose helps in connecting our lower and upper extremities in an effective way. It awakens the energy in the navel and pelvis area. This energy can be later drawn into our mind, throat and mind to energize those areas.
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- Wrist, arm, shoulder, spinal or hip injuries
- Abdominal injury
- Wrist, shoulder or neck pain
- Cervical problems
- Major abdominal problems / core related problems
- Recent surgeries
- High blood pressure
Pregnant women or women with heavy bleeding should avoid this or practice under guidance.
Impart symmetrical pressure on all four sides of palms. This will protect wrists from getting injured.
Watch this video to follow the method of doing Eka Hasta Bhujasana
Impact on doshas and tissues
Impact on Doshas and its subtypes – Since the pose improves balance and flexibility in the joints and body parts, it is good for balance of functions of shleshaka kapha and vyana vata. Since the pose improves the inner strength and energizes the body and mind it is good for the balance of all doshas. It helps in balance of apana vata functions since it opens up the pelvic girdle and hips.
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Impact on tissues – Since the pose stretches and strengthens muscles and joints, it is good for the health of the muscle tissue, joints and the channels carrying muscle tissue.