Eka Pada Bakasana

Definition - What does Eka Pada Bakasana mean?

Eka pada bakasana is an asymmetrical arm-balancing asana and part of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga.

To enter the pose, begin in a squat position. Place the hands on the ground shoulder-distance apart. Lifting the hips, place the knees up and against the upper arms. Gradually shift weight into the hands as the feet lift off the ground and the elbows straighten, coming into bakasana. From here, extend one leg straight back to come into the full expression of the pose.

Eka pada bakasana is derived from the Sanskrit eka meaning “one,” pada meaning “foot,” baka, meaning “crane,” and asana, meaning "pose." Therefore, it may also be referred to as one-legged crane pose in English. It is also sometimes referred to as one-legged crow pose (eka pada kakasana); however, in the crow variation, the arms are bent, while in the crane variation, the arms are straight.

Yogapedia explains Eka Pada Bakasana

Eka pada bakasana is a challenging pose that requires considerable upper body and core strength, balance and focus. It's reccomeneded to master bakasana before attempting eka pada bakasana. Traditionally, one-legged crane is believed to open several chakras, most notably, the muladhara (root) chakra. As such, the pose creates a sense of grounding, security and stability.

Additional benefits include:

  • Encourages introspection and mindfulness
  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Stabilizes the nervous system
  • Builds balance and coordination
  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, back and abdominals
  • Opens the hips and groin

A bolster or yoga block can be used under the feet for a modified version of this pose.

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