Dwi-Pada

Definition - What does Dwi-Pada mean?

Dwi-pada is a Sanskrit term that translates as “two feet.” In the context of yoga, it refers to poses that are practiced with two feet or two legs. Poses that balance on or use just one leg may be called eka-pada.

In some cases, dwi-pada versions of a pose may ease strain, but in other postures, the dwi-pada version is more intense. One such pose is dwi-pada kandharasana, an advanced reclined posture, also known as two-legged shoulder pose, in which both legs wrap around the back of the neck.

Yogapedia explains Dwi-Pada

Other common dwi-pada asanas include:

  • Dwi pada viparita dandasana (two-legged inverted staff pose) – This is an intense backbend in which the forearms rest on the mat, with the crown of the head raised just off the ground as in pincha mayurasana (forearm balance). With the back arched, the straight legs drop to the ground.
  • Dwi pada koundinyasana (two-legged pose dedicated to the sage Koundinya) – This is a challenging arm balance asana. It is similar to kakasana (crow pose), with both legs stretched straight to the side and parallel to the ground.
  • Dwi pada Sirsasana (two feet behind the head pose) – This advanced pose is similar to dwi-pada kandharasana, with both feet wrapped behind the head, except that the balance is on the sitting bones, rather than the back.
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