asana tips and trivia: astavakrasana
asta = eight, vakra = bent/curved, asana = posture/seat
According to the myth, this asana is dedicated to Astavakra, a sage and spiritual guru. It´s called Eight Angle Pose in English, because the posture depicts a body that is crooked all over. The story has it that while Astavakra was still unborn, he would hear his father read the Vedas from inside the womb. Listening to the father doing some severe reciting mistakes, the unborn sage laughed, which the father noticed. Being really offended, he cursed his son to be born crooked in eight places.
This posture can be prepared through some deep hip openers and forward folds. Come into it from a seated position, placing one leg up on a shoulder and pinching your arm using your leg, keeping the leg in place. Cross the opposite foot over the dangling foot and squeeze your knees together towards the shoulder. Slowly lean the weight into your hands, bending the elbows while extending the legs to the side. Look up and try to seem indifferent.