Strike a Yoga Pose: One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose

So many people I know are always complaining of lower back pain and tight shoulders from sitting all day. We're either standing or hunched over a desk and we hardly ever bend our backs in the opposite direction. So give this One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose a try. It's similar to the grounding backbend Inverted Staff pose, but you'll also feel this one in your hamstrings and hips.


Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana
English Translation: One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose
Also Called: One-Legged Headstand Backbend

You can get into this pose from backbend or headstand. To find out how read more.

From Wheel pose:

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the ground (heels as close as possible to your booty). Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the ground above your shoulders, fingertips facing your feet.
  • As you inhale, press into your palms and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, placing the crown (top) of your head on the mat. Now place your elbows on the ground on either side of your head in front of your face, and interlace your hands behind the back of your head.
  • Bring your feet together and then raise your right leg straight into the air. Actively press the sole of your left foot into the ground to help lift your right foot ever higher. Stay here for five breaths then lower your right foot to the ground and lift your left leg. Stay for another five breaths.
  • Then lower your left foot back to the ground and place your palms flat on the floor. Lower your hips back to the ground and hug your knees into your chest to release your lower back.

Or from Bound Headstand pose:

  • Begin with your hands and knees on the mat. Lower your elbows to the floor and interlace your fingers, forming a semicircle with your hands. Place the back of your head against your palms, and the top of your head on the mat, so your skull is vertical to the floor. Now straighten both legs and walk your feet towards your face as close as you can.
  • Shift the weight of your hips over your shoulders and keep your elbows planted firmly on the mat. Lift your right leg straight up towards the sky and then your left, coming into full headstand.
  • From here, keeping your elbows and head stable, begin to bend your knees, lowering your feet towards the ground behind you. You'll need to arch your back as much as possible to help you land softly. Once your feet are on the floor, step them together and raise your right leg straight into the air. Stay here for five breaths, pressing the sole of your left foot firmly into the ground to help you lift your chest and hips higher. Then lower your right leg to the floor and lift your left leg, staying for another five breaths.
  • Then lower your left foot back to the ground, walk your feet in towards the back of your head and kick your feet over so they're on the same side as your face. (This part is tough, so keep practicing).
  • Come into Child's Pose to release your lower back.
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