An Easy Guide to Astavakrasana, or Eight Angle Pose

Astavakrasana, or Eight Angle Pose, is an advanced arm balance with a twist, built for flexible yogis. It can be daunting as it involves many twists and turns — all whilst balancing on the hands! However, as you let go of your fear, and embrace the way this pose stretches and eases stiffness – you will feel the way it relaxes the body, bringing on a state of calm.


Astavakrasana, or Eight Angle Pose will straighten you out, strengthen your arms and wrists, lengthen your legs and chest, and build abs of steel, if practiced regularly.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Astavakrasana, or Eight Angle Pose, in easy steps

Step 1:

Stand in Mountain Pose with feet about 18 inches apart.

Step 2:

Exhale into a Standing Forward Bend, placing the hands outside the feet.

Step 3:

Place the right palm on the floor a few inches inside the right foot. Bring the left palm to the outside of the left foot. Bend the legs.

Step 4:

Take the right arm behind the right knee and place the hand by the outer edge of the right foot.

Step 5:

Further bend the knees and lift the right thigh as high as possible onto the right upper arm.

Step 6:

Transfer the body weight into the hands. Move the feet forward.

Step 7:

Cross the left over the right ankle, interlocking

Step 8:

On an exhalation, lift both legs off the floor. Lift the chest and look forward..

Step 9:

Extend and straighten the legs sideways to the right.

Step 10:

Balance for 5 breaths, breathing evenly.

Now exhale, lower the head and trunk down until they are almost horizontal. Keep breathing!

Step 11:

On an inhalation, straighten the arms to raise the upper body, then uncross the legs and lower them to the floor.

Step 12:

Rest and repeat on the other side.


Yoga pose category:  Weight on hands

Level: 2

This pose doesn’t just require great flexibility – it also requires a strong core and balance. To start with, just practice on the floor without lifting the body with the hands. This will allow you to become familiar with the way the body needs to twist and turn. After this, you will find it easier to hold the pose while balancing.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Asta - eight

Vakra - bent

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Eight Angle Pose has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:



Balance issues


Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Eight Angle Pose if you have any of the following health conditions:

Wrist injuries

Shoulder injuries

Elbow injuries

Groin injuries

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.