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Learning to Fly

Trainer of the Month

Photography by
Darren Hendrix

Nine Steps to One-legged Sage Pose

(Eka Pada Koundinyasana II)

Also called the flying splits, this intermediate pose may seem intimidating even to a seasoned yogi, but Bellevue Club yoga instructor Heather Balajadia breaks down a nine-step series to help you take flight.

01. Standing Forward Bend
Start in an upright standing position, and hinge at the hips into a forward fold. 

02. Standing Splits
(Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)
Lift the left leg upward, keeping the foot flexed and driving through the heel.

03. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Reach the left leg back into a lunge position with your back foot flat against the ground and the hips squared to the front.


04. Downward Dog
(Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Take your hands to the floor and step the right foot to meet the left in downward dog.

05. Staff Pose
(Chaturanga Dandasana)
Engage the core and push through your toes as you round the upper back rolling forward into a low plank pose.

06. One-legged Downward Dog
(Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Push back into downward dog and raise the left leg, driving through the heel to give the right hamstring a stretch. Lower left leg back down.


07. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
Bring the right foot up in line with your hands. Lower down onto your elbows and tuck the right shoulder under the right hamstring. 

08. Lizard Pose Variation 

(Utthan Pristhasana)—Straighten out the right leg, driving through the toes.

09. One-legged Sage Pose
(Eka Pada Koundinyasana)
Shift your weight forward and lift the left toes off the ground. 

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