Astravrakasana – Eight Angle Pose
Astravrakasana is a very fun hand/arm balance, but it takes a LOT of muscular engagement to pull off. I didn’t get this pose until recently, I just wasn’t strong enough. When I attempted the pose, I felt like my bum weighed a thousand pounds, I just could not achieve lift-off. I have a major tendency to just hang out in my body rather than really engage. So I realized that when you get your legs wrapped around your arm, you must squeeze with full force to achieve lift-off, I found myself in the pose! It took a long time to actually build the muscle to even be able to do the pose. In my opinion, you must be proficient in chaturanga more so in this hand/arm balance than a lot of them. In addition to squeezing your arm with tonnes of muscular engagement, you must also find a kicking away from you action. You’ll be able to hang out in the pose if you just squeeze, but you’ll find greater ease in the pose if you kick your feet away from you. So the main actions are chaturanga arms, squeezing legs together and kicking feet away. When you can find all of these actions at once, you’ll find success in the pose. I’m a person with tonnes of organic energy, so the amount of muscular energy required in this pose is why I find it so challenging, but I LOVE that challenge!