Astavakrasana WHAT? by Lisa Reeder

This is me, killing 8-angle pose (for 3 seconds), also known as astavakrasana. This pose has intimidated me for many years. You know when the self-doubt creeps in. Yeah, well I know it all too well because my mind has told me not to try this pose because I thought I wasn’t strong enough. And, of course, I listened…for many years I listened. It was probably about when I turned 40 that I began to stop listening all the time. I haven’t found the perfect balance yet of overcoming all doubt, fear and worry but I am on my way!

According to yogic mythology, Astavakrasana is named after a sage. Asta mean eight and Vakra means bent because this sage was born with a crippled body bent in eight places.

So you may ask why was he crippled when he was born. Astavakra, as it turns out, was super spiritual and wise, even when he was in the womb. He hear his father reading The Vedas, an ancient text, and his dad was stumbling through reading this sacred text, mispronouncing words.


From the womb, Astavakra corrected his father, and if you have children, you can maybe relate that his father did not appreciate this behavior from his in-the-womb, smart-ass baby. So his father, in a complete overreaction, cursed him to be crippled, his body bent in 8 different places.

I still wonder why his father chose eight different places?

Despite being born crippled, Astavakra was an incredibly gifted soul. He was wise and was intelligent beyond his years. He dedicated his life studying sacred texts and Indian philosophies.

At some point in his life, he decided to make the trek to King Janaka’s court because he had heard that’s where all the most knowledgeable and philosophical men met to discuss important things, and he wanted to be a part of this congregation. He wanted to be a part of the team of the smartest and most spiritual guys in India.