One of the more challenging arm balances is Eka Pada Koudinyasana I, otherwise known as Flying Splits or One-Footed Sage Pose.
In Sanskrit, eka means one, pada means foot, and Kaundinya was a sage of the Buddha and a scholar of the Vedas in ancient India.
Yogi’s Guide to 30 Common Sanskrit Words
Eka Pada Koundinyasana is part of the low-flying arm balance family. Poses like Bakasana (Crow) and Parsva Bakasana (Side Crow) are good poses to practice in preparation for bigger arm balances like Flying Splits or Eka Pada Koundinyasana II (otherwise known as Hurdler’s Pose).
Check out Flow & Fly Low, my latest online yoga class with YA Classes, to access all these arm balance poses and a few challenging variations
First – What Is the Difference Between Eka Pada Koundinyasana I and II?
Many yoga students ask what the difference is between Eka Pada Koundinyasana I (EPK I) and Eka Pada Koundinyasana II (EPK II). While the upper body alignment is very similar in both poses, Eka Pada Koundinyasana I starts from Side Crow and therefore the bottom leg is twisted across the body.
In Eka Pada Koundinyasana II, one leg is straight forward and one leg is straight back, resembling a hurdler’s leap mid-jump, hence the common name Hurdler’s Pose.
For this yoga pose tutorial, we are focusing on Eka Pada Koundinyasana I (EPK I). If you are ready to try EPK 1 for yourself, grab your yoga mat and let’s fly!
Practice These 5 Yoga Poses to Prepare Your Body for Eka Pada Koundinyasana I (EPK I):
Before you jump into your first yoga pose . . . It’s important to begin your yoga practice with a few rounds of Sun Salutations. I recommend you practice 3-5 full rounds of Surya Namaskar A to get your body warm and ready to take flight!
Learn Surya Namaskar A and B: Sun Salutation Flow Photo Tutorial
Now you’re ready! Let’s jump in!
1. Supine Crunch
Enhancement: Advance this crunch by extending both legs straight
Let’s try it:
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your hands interlaced behind your head
- Inhale to lift your head, neck and shoulders off the mat and exhale to twist your torso to one side
- Cross your left elbow towards your right thigh, extend your left leg and hover it off the ground
- Repeat the same actions on the other side and continue moving from side to side with your breath
2. 4-Limbed Staff Pose
Sanskrit: Chaturanga Dandasana
Modification: Drop your knees to the mat, but keep your core…