Eka Pada Galavasana (sometimes called flying crow) is a strong arm balance that opens the outer hips and strengthens the arms, chest, and core like crazy. It’s an advanced pose, so you might have to work up to it over time, but once you get it, it’s exhilarating.
To begin, stand in Tadasana, take the right foot and place it right above and to the outside of the left thigh. The right knee should open to the side much like in tree pose. Begin to bend the standing leg and lean the torso forward over the right shin. Essentially you are taking pigeon in the right leg now, so the more open and warmed up your outer hips, the easier this is. As you bring your chest down toward the right leg, you want to place your arms in front of the shin as close in to the armpits as possible. Hook your right foot around the left upper arm, locking the shin into place and press the right knee into the right upper arm.
Once the arms are in place, bring the palms down to the floor shoulder distance apart. Gaze in front of the fingers about 6 inches or so, keeping the heart open and sternum moving forward. As you begin to transfer weight into the hands, the left foot will eventually lift up off the ground with the knee bent. This might be the final pose right here and can be plenty to work with.
If you feel comfortable and steady here, you can then begin to work on extending the left leg behind you. This requires some serious connection to your core. Extend the sternum forward as you extend the leg back and keep the elbows in. The right shin often begins to slip off here for many people, so you have to make sure to really lock the foot.
Once you have found your version of the pose, hold for as long as feels comfortable, come back up and then take the second side for the same amount of time.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!