Six Yoga Poses and Tips for Eight-Angle Pose

Eight Angle Pose or Astavakrasana requires a strong core, powerful arm strength, and reasonable opening through the hips and hamstrings in order to practice the full expression of this pose.

You can work towards the Eight Angle Pose by gaining strength and flexibility. Enjoy the journey, not just the final pose!

High Lunge

This pose opens the hips gently and helps build the balance needed for the eight-angle pose.

Step one leg forward and bend the front knee. As you lift your arms, keep the hips square and your core engaged. Explore the opening of the lower back while gently challenging your balance. Repeat on the other side. Hold for 5 breaths.

Lizard Pose

Open the hips by moving from the high lunge to the Lizard position.

Bring your hands to the floor in the middle of the foot. You can either stay here, or if you want to stretch out a bit more, roll your front foot on the outer blade of the shoe and let your knee fall to the side.

If you want to push yourself even further, you can come down on your forearms.


Eight Angle is a great way to prepare for Chaturanga, as it helps build arm and back strength while also toning your core.

Slowly lower your body from a plank while keeping the elbows close to your body. You can practice Chaturangas off your knees until you are strong enough to do them from your toes.

Boat Pose

You need to have a strong core in order to move into Eight Angle Pose. Boat pose can help you build the core strength that you need.

Bring your hands behind you and take a seat. Lift your legs and align the calves. Continue lifting the spine by lifting the chest. If you are confident, straighten your legs and let go of the hands to the feet.

Compass Pose

Compass pose is a great way to build flexibility in your hamstrings and hips and create the opening needed to lift the leg onto the shoulder.

Slowly straighten the left leg from a seated posture by reaching the right hand out to the outside edge of the foot. As soon as the left leg is straightened, raise the right arm above your head. Hold for 3 breaths and then repeat the opposite side.

Rock your baby

This pose gently opens the outer hips and hamstrings.

Bring your right knee to the crease on your right elbow. Rest your right foot on the crease between your left and right elbows. Rock your leg gently from side to side, as if you are rocking a child. Repeat on the other side.

Ready to Move Into Eight Angle Pose?

While these aren’t technically all “poses”, they can be used to practice the Eight Angle Pose. You will end up in this pose by assuming these positions, but it is helpful to practice them at the beginning to better understand what areas you need to focus on.

Step 1

Bring the right calf onto the right shoulder from a seated posture with both legs in front. You may only be able lift one leg onto the tricep when you start. Don’t give up! You’ll get there eventually if you keep working on opening the hips and hamstrings!

Step 2

Continue pressing the leg against the shoulder and place both hands on the floor. Press firmly into your hands and engage the core to lift the bottom of the mat. To build core strength, try lifting your left leg as well (Elephant trunk pose).

Step 3

Bring the left leg across your body and cross it on the right. Do not worry if the leg slides off the shoulder. Just keep pressing your leg into the back arm.

Step 4

As you shift your legs to one side, lean forward and put weight into your hands (just as in Chaturanga). Squeeze the inner thighs to straighten the legs. Hold this position for three deep breaths.

That’s all! You will be closer to the strength and flexibility needed to perform eight-angle pose if you practice each of these poses. Enjoy each one and celebrate your success when you finally achieve this challenging arm balance.

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