One of the biggest hurdles we need to overcome in May’s pose of the month is finding a sense of balance in what is a very asymmetrical shape.
Asking our joints to move in opposing directions at the same time is at the core of what makes a particular asana challenging. In Eka Pada Koundinyasana one leg is in full extension, while the other is primarily in flexion (at least it is in the bent-knee version most of you will be learning), plus there’s the added challenge of balancing the entire body weight on our hands, of course!
The issue: Often the key to unlocking a pose can be found in just one limb which isn’t (literally) pulling its weight. In this case it’s normally the back leg, which is out of sight and therefore somewhat out of mind.
The fix: From Lizard pose, hug the knee of the front leg into the tricep, bend your elbows Chaturanga-style (hugging them tight to the torso) and lift your front foot to ‘fire hydrant’ that leg, resting it on your bent elbow.
Engage the core, grow super strong in the back leg and shift your weight forward until your face begins to sink low to the ground. Feel the weight in the toes of that back foot become light as a result of this forward motion, then engage the glute and hamstring to slowly lift the back leg off the ground.