Eka Pada Galavasana – Sage Galava Pose
Eka pada galavasana or Sage Galava pose is a really fun, but very challenging arm/hand balance. This pose is commonly referred to as flying pigeon pose because the positioning of your forward leg is practically the same position as it is in pigeon pose, however your back leg is raised (hence flying). This pose can be a challenge to many people because you must have an open hip as well as being able to hold chaturanga pretty well. However, for me this pose was a big challenge because it was SO uncomfortable. My shin bone would dig into my triceps and it would hurt a lot, I’m talking I would have HUGE shin shaped bruises on the backs of my upper arms for a good week or two.This pose would hurt me more than any other arm balance I practiced, to the point where I wouldn’t even try to lift my back leg because it would hurt so much (not to mention the weird looks or questions I would get concerning my unsightly bruises). I then took a workshop with Darren Rhodes this past December, he taught us how to accessibly get into this pose. I tried it in this way, that being to shift my weight forward by pulling my heart forward, rather than trying to shift the centre of balance by lifting my hips over my wrists, I have to say, this helped so much! So picture doing reclining pigeon pose on your arms rather than lifting your bum way high in the arm. Doing this pose in this way makes it more accessible, yet more challenging at the same time. Lifting your bum way high in the arm in any arm/hand balance is a method many, many yogis do. Doing this changes the centre of balance, which requires less muscular energy believe it or not, but it also puts a lot more weight into your triceps (i.e. ouchie arms). Keeping your bum down makes it harder because it requires a lot more core work, I mean A LOT, however engaging your core in this way makes your forward leg lighter and you’ll avoid bruising (yay!). Anyways, it’s a really fun pose in anyway that you practice it, it’s just quite the challenge! I LOVE eka pada galavasana, but the potential pain it causes is the reason that I find this pose SO challenging!