Journey Into Hurdlers | Episode 3
From Jenn Collotta
An in-depth look into practice
Eka Pada Koundinyasana B, known as Hurdlers Pose, is a pose of not only strength, but balance. Balance in this pose comes in many forms.
Physically you are balancing on your hands with all other parts of your body up in the air. This requires rehearsed and familiar contractions in the muscle fibers of your forearms, triceps, chest, core, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. What this series is physically geared toward is building your familiarity with those regions of your body. As familiarity builds, so does strength and confidence.
Energetically you are balancing the desire to achieve, to do, and the desire to rest, to be. This is Raja and Tamas, respectively – two of the three energetic states of being. As these two states come into a balance, you find Sattva – the state of harmony. Much of what yoga āsana entails is finding this state of sattva. I can think of few better places to energetically find balance than in a arm balance because the tendency is to find strength, yet the goal is to find release – Sthira Sukham Asanam: Yoga Sutra 2.46, which translates to “āsana must have the dual qualities of alertness and relaxation”. Let this be your energetic goal.
Mentally you are balancing the want be present and the want to think of anything but the sensation you may feel in your body. This is by far the most intricate of the three states of balance you will find in Eka Pada Koundinyasana B. Our mind wants to wander – it is it’s nature. When sensation accumulates, it is easier for our mind to wander because the present holds a lot of tension – which is why āsana practice is to strive for the state of ease, sthira. Assuming tension is there, it is likely that our mind choses to avert – dvesa. When we are faced with feelings our natural instinct is to either attach or avert – raja or dvesa respectively. However, there is a third option. To let it be. This is to know that you are more than the body – that the body and the sensation exist, but they are not who you are. In far too few words, this is the essence of moksha – or liberation.
And spiritually, well, that is for you to decide.
This physical practice is less of a science and more of a balancing act that has less to do with grace and more to do with failure. For failure carves the surest path to success.
- Extended Child’s Pose (Utthita Balāsana)
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Śvanāsana)
- Runner’s Lunge
- Ragdoll (Uttānāsana)
- Mountain Pose (Tādāsana)
- Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Śvanāsana)
- Chair Pose (Utkatāsana)
- One Leg Mountain Pose (Eka Pāda Tadāsana)
- Figure Four (Galavasana)
- Extended Crescent Lunge (Utthita Anjaneyāsana)
- Modified Pyramid (Ardha Parsvottānāsana)
- Warrior II (Vīrabhadrāsana B)
- Wide Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottānāsana)
- Hurdler’s Pose (Eka Pada Koundinyasana B)
- Side Lunge (Skandāsana)
- Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottānāsana)
- Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrāsana)
- Fire log Pose (Agnistabhāsana)
- Head to Knee (Janu Sirsasana)