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Ekapadashirasana (one leg to head pose)


Eka - one; Pada - leg; Shira - head

In this asana, one leg is raised and placed behind the neck, hence the name.

Taking the asana position


Initial Position - Sitting Position


1. Place the left foot on the right thigh.
2. Hold the left calf muscle with the left hand and the outside of the left ankle with the right hand. Raise the left leg using the arms, bend the trunk forward and twist slightly to the right. Inhale and while exhaling, place the leg on top of the left shoulder and turn the body to face forward. Gaze straight ahead.
3. Join both palms in namaskar position. Breathe normally.

The asana position


In this position, the right leg remains stretched in front of the body with the toes pointing up and the left leg is placed on top of the left shoulder, behind the neck. The neck should be straightened as much as possible, with the eyes gazing forward. This exerts more pressure on the left hip joint. The hands are joined in namaskar position.

Releasing the asana position


1. Release the hands from namaskar position.
2. With the support of the hands, release the left leg from behind the head and place the left foot on the right thigh.
3. Straighten the left leg and come back into sitting position.

Practice on the other side.

Anatomical focus




On maintaining balance.



1. Straighten the neck and back as much as possible once in the final position.
2. Gaze forward.
3. Use the hands to keep the left leg in position behind the head if necessary.



1. Force the leg into the final position.



1. Massages the internal organs at the abdominal area.
2. Stimulates peristalsis and thereby removing constipation.
3. Tones the reproductive organs.
4. Improves blood circulation in the legs, relieving varicose veins.
5. Improves blood circulation in the spine, increasing the level of energy in the chakras.
6. Improves the level of hemoglobin in the blood, vitalizing the body and mind.

Therapeutic application


1. Disorders of the reproductive system
2. Varicose veins

Precautions & contra-indications


1. Those suffering from slipped dic, sciatica or hernia should not attempt this asana.
2. Those with problems in the neck vertebrae should avoid this asana.



15 to 20 seconds in order to reap the benefits. The duration may be increased to 1 minute with further practice.

Variations & tips


Flexibility of the hips is necessary in this asana. Adequate warming up of the hips joints must be done by way of the preparatory poses recommended below before attempting this asana.

If it is not possible for the leg to be placed on the shoulder or the leg does not stay in place, you should use your hands to support the leg in whichever level you are comfortable in. With regular practice, the final position can be attained.

Preparatory poses


1. Padmasana Preparatory Movements
2. Aakarna Dhanurasana Types 1 and 2
3. Karnapeedasana
4. Ekapadhastasana
5. Ugrasana

Follow-up poses


1. Dwipadashirasana

Ancient texts