Eka Pada Koundinyasana: Everything your need to know


This asana pose has a fancy name that somewhat reflects its elaborate nature. Certainly a popular asana to perform for social media, this pose has far more to it than its ability to rack up a lot of adoring likes. Eka Pada Koundinyasana stands out as a pinnacle of strength, balance, and concentration. Also known as One-Legged Sage Koundinya’s Pose, this asana demands focus, flexibility, and core stability, making it a challenging yet rewarding posture for practitioners of all levels. If you feel intimidated by this pose, this article will help you to find your own way to approach this inspiring pose. 


Scroll down for a class from Vikasa teacher Daniel Rama and be guided through beginner and advanced options of Eka Pada Koundinyasana.

Want to train with us here in person at Vikasa? Check the bottom of this post to find out how to win a Vikasa Yoga Teacher Training. 

Understanding Eka Pada Koundinyasana

Eka Pada Koundinyasana is a dynamic arm balance pose that requires the practitioner to support the body weight on the hands while extending one leg to the side. Named after the sage Koundinya, who was said to possess immense strength and wisdom, this pose embodies the qualities of balance and stability.


Benefits of Eka Pada Koundinyasana

  • Strengthens the Upper Body: This pose engages the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and chest, helping to build strength and endurance in the upper body.
  • Improves Balance and Coordination: Balancing on one arm while extending the opposite leg challenges your stability and enhances proprioception.
  • Stretches the Hamstrings and Hips: The extended leg position stretches the hamstrings and hip flexors, promoting flexibility in these areas.
  • Boosts Concentration: Holding Eka Pada Koundinyasana requires mental focus and concentration, aiding in mindfulness and presence.
  • Core Activation: Engaging the core muscles is essential for maintaining stability and control in this pose, leading to improved core strength.

Modifications for Beginners

For beginners, mastering Eka Pada Koundinyasana may seem daunting at first. Here are some modifications to help ease into the pose:

  • Use Blocks: Place yoga blocks under the hands to provide additional support and stability.
  • Bend the Extended Leg: Instead of fully extending the leg to the side, beginners can keep the knee bent and foot closer to the body to reduce the intensity of the stretch.
  • Practice Hip Opening Poses: Prioritize hip-opening poses like Pigeon Pose and Bound Angle Pose to prepare the hips for the demands of Eka Pada Koundinyasana.


Advanced Variations

For seasoned yogis looking to deepen their practice, here are some advanced variations to explore:

  • Straight Leg Variation: Extend the lifted leg straight out to the side, parallel to the ground, while maintaining balance and stability.
  • Transition from Side Crow: Start in Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana) and then transition into Eka Pada Koundinyasana by extending one leg to the side.
  • Arm Bind Variation: Once comfortable in the pose, attempt to bind the extended arm with the lifted leg for an added challenge and stretch.


Improving Your Ability

Consistent practice and patience are key to improving your ability in Eka Pada Koundinyasana. Here are some tips to help you progress:

  • Build Upper Body Strength: Incorporate arm strengthening exercises such as Chaturanga Dandasana and Plank Pose into your routine to build the necessary upper body strength.
  • Work on Core Stability: Practice core-strengthening exercises like Boat Pose and Forearm Plank to develop stability and control in the abdominal muscles.
  • Focus on Hip Flexibility: Regularly stretch and open the hips with poses like Lizard Pose and Low Lunge to enhance flexibility and mobility in the hip joints.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Approach each practice with a sense of mindfulness and presence, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the experience of the pose without judgment or expectation.

Let’s Practice!

Eka Pada Koundinyasana, offers a multitude of physical and mental benefits. Whether you are a beginner seeking stability or an advanced practitioner craving a challenge, the variations and modifications of this pose ensure accessibility to practitioners of all levels. 

Every month at Vikasa we are offer a ‘Pose of the Month’ challenge to help inspire and educate our global Vikasa community on new poses that you can try yourself and work on mastering at home. 


WIN a YTT with us!

Share a post of you doing your version of the pose of the month and go into the running to WIN:

  • Our full Online 200hr Foundation Yoga Teacher Training (valued at $1,000) 
  • OR $1,000 off one of our in-person Yoga Teacher Training Programs at Vikasa here in Koh Samui, Thailand. 


Both training options enable you to become a certified yoga teacher and teach anywhere around the world. 

All you need to do to enter is:

  1. Share a post in your IG feed of you doing the pose of the month
  2. Tag us IN the post
  3. Share it to your stories and tag us 

We hope you enjoy learning and advancing each month with us and we’re excited to gift one lucky winner a month with the chance to become a Vikasa yoga teacher too. 

Enjoy your FREE CLASS with Rama below to learn this monht’s pose of the month- Eka Pada Koundinyasana!