Two arm balances in a row this time. I like change, but at the same time: I’m an arm balance junky. Eka Pada Galavasana – Flying Pigeon is an arm balance I’ve been doing for a while. It took me some time to really be comfortable in lifting the back leg in the extended version. One sight is pretty good now, the other is still a challenge.
Lifting one leg all the way back is an option. You don’t have to. It can already be challenging to come in this ‘figure 4’ arm balance and stay ‘small’. The pose is known in English as flying pigeon, because both legs look very much as the way they look when you are in pigeon pose. However Galava doesn’t mean pigeon in Sanskrit. It was the name of a wise, old sage, who use to practice this pose. Eka does mean one and pada does mean leg.
The pose has physical benefits, but mental as well. It’s one of those poses we can use to conquer our fear. You have to find your balance by not falling forward on your nose and going forward enough to counterbalance the weight of the back leg. Especially when it’s in the extended version. It’s also one of the poses you should just have fun with. If you do, it will happen. One day.
Getting into Eka Pada Galvasana
- Start from Tadasana
- Bend your left leg and place your left foot just above your right knee
- Place your hands in prayer pose in front of your chest.
- Bend forward, placing your under arms – with your hands still in prayer – on your left shine
- Bend your right leg, sinking your pelvis to the floor until your right thigh is parallel to the floor
- Stay here for one breath
- Place your hands in front of you on the floor with your arms bend
- Place your left shin on top of your arms. Hook your foot around your upper arm. The big trick is in this foot
- Slowly bring your weight forward. Start tip towing on your right foot and when you’re ready shift your weight forward, lifting the right foot up; using your upper body and head as counter balance
- If you find your balance slowly start extending your left leg to reach the full position
Benefits of Eka Pada Galvasana
- Strengthens the wrists and arms
- Massage for the abdominal organs
- Increases sense of balance
- Calms the mind by relieving stress and anxiety