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Sankatasana (difficult pose)


Sankat - Difficult

As suggested by the name of the asana, this pose is an advanced asana, but it is not as difficult as suggested by the name.


Taking the asana position


1. Shifting the weight of the body onto the right leg and bending it slightly, lift the left leg up by bending it slightly at the knee. The body is now balanced entirely on the right leg.
2. Cross the left leg over the right leg and hook the top of the left foot behind the right calf. The toes of the left leg should be showing from the left side of the right lower leg. The right leg remains slightly bent at the knee.
3. Place the hands in namaskar in front of the chest.


The asana position


In this position, the left leg is effectively entwined around the right leg, with the hands in namaskar position in front of the chest. The upper body should be kept straight.

Once the left leg is wrapped over the right, the right leg should be straightened in order to feel the strain on the left leg. Gaze forward at a fixed point to maintain balance.


Releasing the asana position


1. Release the hands from namaskar position and return the arms to the side of the body.
2. Release the left leg.
3. Place the left foot back onto the ground and come back to standing position. Practice on the other side.


Anatomical focus


On the stretch on the joints of the left leg.




On maintaining balance while focusing on a fixed point.




1. Keep the upper body straight.
2. Gaze at a fixed point in front to keep balance.




1. Hunch the back or shoulders.
2. Lift any part of the right sole off the ground.




1. Strengthens the leg muscles.
2. Increases the blood supply to and loosens the leg joints.


Therapeutic application


1. Sciatica
2. Rheumatism
3. Hydrocele


Precautions & contra-indications


1. People suffering from arthritis should only perform this asana under expert guidance.




At least 30 seconds on each side.


Variations & tips


Initially, it may be difficult to wrap one leg around the other fully. Bending the right leg more will allow the left leg to be more easily wrapped around it.


Preparatory poses



Follow-up poses


1. Garudasana


Ancient texts


In Gherand Samhita, the 28th shloka in the second chapter describes this asana as under :

Vampadam chitermulam sanyasyam dharanitale l
Paddanden yamyen veshtyedwampadakam l
Januyugme karou yugmametattu sankatasanam ll G S 2.28

Meaning -

The left leg should be kept on the ground and the right leg should embrace it. The hands should be placed on the knees. This pose is known as Sankatasan.

The asana described here is more or less the same, the only difference being the hands in namaskar position in front of the chest. However, the change in the position of the hands does not change the effects of the asana.