How to Koundie 1: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, we build up to Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 or EPK1 (sorry, there’s really no great English name for it).

This arm balance requires a lot of familiarity and range of motion with twisting on top of a lot of upper body strength and body awareness

The goal of this 5-step progression is to nail one skill first before moving to the next and, ultimately, doing multiple skills at the same time.

Start with a simple twist to build strength and functional mobility in the spine, then build core and upper body strength, then do the simplest twisting arm balance. These first three steps isolate the three most important skills separately, then step 4 and 5 bring them all together.

Step 4 is essentially the arm balance in a slightly simpler leg variation, and step 5 is the full arm balance, legs split, floating above your mat.

Be careful and patient — this one takes time and skipping steps isn’t going to get you there any quicker.

If you can control your instinct to rush through the steps and be patient enough to let this pose develop over weeks and months, you’re core and abs and shoulders and spine will all be better for it.

Start using yoga to live athletically:

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

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About the Author:

Joe is the Founder of Icewater Yoga. Fascinated by the intersection of yoga and sport, his goal is to help athletes develop a consistent yoga practice. He lives in Claremont, CA with his wife, Jill.