Dwi-Pada Kandharasana

Definition - What does Dwi-Pada Kandharasana mean?

Dwi-pada kandharasana is an advanced inverted forward bend and resting posture that requires a great deal of flexibility in the hips, legs and back. The term comes from the Sanskrit, dwi, meaning “two”; pada, meaning “feet”; kandha, meaning “shoulder”; and asana, which means “posture” or “pose."

From a seated position, each leg is wrapped under the corresponding arm and behind the shoulders where the ankles are crossed. The yogi then leans backward and rests on his/her back. The arms extend forward with the palms pressed together.

In English, this pose is called two-legged shoulder pose.

Dwi-Pada Kandharasana

Yogapedia explains Dwi-Pada Kandharasana

In Ashtanga yoga and some other styles of yoga, this posture is known as yoga nidrasana, or the yogic sleep pose. It is one of the asanas in the intermediate series of Ashtanga yoga and is believed to induce pratyahara, the fifth limb of yoga, known as withdrawal of the senses, and is outlined in the Yoga Sutras.

Dwi-pada kandharasana is thought to balance the svadisthana (sacral) chakra, which is associated with creativity, emotional stability and inner strength. The pose also has these benefits:

  • Eases stress
  • Calms the mind
  • Increases concentration and focus
  • Improves self-control
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