Eka Pada Galavasana | Padan Gustha Padma Utkatasana | Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana
This short sequence is all about challenge. When we are able to open our bodies around the rigidity of what seems impossible, the mind follows. And vice versa.
When I first saw someone demonstrate Eka Pada Galavasana, I was dumbfounded as to how that might actually happen. But by remaining curious through this same short sequence day after day, month after month, year after year… it has become an opportunity for flight and ease.
By connecting one ankle atop the other knee, we begin to stretch into the hips. Keeping a good flex with the foot in the air helps keep the body energetically active and aligned.
This may be where you stay (I did for a long time…), or you progress by reaching the heart towards the shin with the back as flat as possible. Eventually, we may come to a place where it is comfortable to root the hands down in front.
With the foot still flexed, wrap that upper shin and foot on and around the two triceps and use it to squeeze the focus in towards your belly upwards and towards your hands downwards. When this is stable and the heart reaches forwards, the natural balance of weight will send through your leg backwards. Perhaps just the toes float, or maybe the leg straightens all the way.
From here, we come right back with that foot on the ground and sit onto the heel and toes. Padan Gustha Padma Utkatasana is an extremely simple posture, yet often brings with it a lot of challenge. Keeping the whole body full of breath and presence and allowing the mind to digest the sensations is key to coming into balance.
To counter this, we root down through the standing foot and the hands while stretching the floating foot back and up into Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana.
Reaching that floating foot even further out, we set it down to Warrior I and proceed to wash it all out through a vinyasa.
Coming back to this simple and short sequence over an extended period of time can be a great marker of evolution in your yoga practice. Allow yourself to be just where you are and open into that moment. When the mind opens this way, the body will follow.