Definition - What does Kapilasana mean?

Kapilasana is a very challenging seated forward fold and hip opener, requiring a great deal of flexibility in the lower body. Kapila was an ancient Indian sage who founded the Samkhya school of philosophy, a lineage which still inspires schools of yoga today.

In this asana, the right leg adopts seated foot-behind-the-head pose, then slides further down the back, so that the left arm can wrap around the back and over the ankle in order to bind with the right hand.

Kapilasana is a posture from the fourth series of Ashtanga yoga and, along with Buddhasana, is one of the deepest postures for external rotation of the hip.

Yogapedia explains Kapilasana

Because of the challenging nature of the posture, it is also considered a good posture to learn to find the balance between working toward something that seems impossible without forcing or pushing too hard.

Some say that the hips store emotional energy, so practicing this posture can bring some challenging feelings to the surface to process such as anger, anxiety and/or sadness. In addition to its stretching benefits, kapilasana can be used to develop a stillness of mind. It directs the yogi’s attention inward, bringing a calm, steady focus and meditative state.

Traditionally, kapilasana is said to be beneficial in guiding the yogi along his/her path of dharana to dhyana, moving toward true meditation because it helps to maintain the first five chakras of muladhara, svadisthana, manipura, anahata and visuddha. As such, it is a powerful posture spiritually as well as physically.

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