Eye Of The Needle Pose – Sucriandhrasana
Eye of the Needle Pose (Sucriandhrasana) is a hip opening posture and for those who are challenged with mobility in Half Legged Pigeon Pose, Eye of the Needle Pose is a good place to start the yoga practice to protect the back and learn where the “opening” and stretch is to come from; the hips and thighs. Practice Eye of the needle pose regularly so the hips and thighs have ample time to evolve in their range of motion and comfort. Once this pose is easy try variations in the pose such as hugging then knee in close to the chest then releasing as well as, rolling the hip clockwise and counter-clockwise. These fine movements raise your ability to make note specific and different stretch sensations and will build greater control and easier adjustments in other hip opening postures such as One Legged Pigeon Pose. Eye of the Needle is both relaxing and effective. Be sure to alternate right to left, left to right side 3-5 times to really create a lasting improvement in hip and thigh mobility.
How to Practice Eye Of The Needle Pose
Lay back on to the mat until the back, shoulders and head can rest flat on the mat. Bend both knees so both feet sit firmly on the mat. Move the left ankle across the midline of the body until it rests just below the front of the right knee. Use your hands to place the ankle above the knee, if necessary. Imagine your left foot is pressed to an imaginary wall so that the sole of the foot does not rotate toward the face but directly faces out to the side. This will engage muscles of the foot and lower leg. Lift the right foot off the mat; the hands reach forward to clasp either behind or in front of the right knee. This requires the left arm to pass under the left calf while the right arm moves along the outside of the right knee. Be sure that the abdominal muscles, shoulders, neck and face are relaxed. If clasping the knee is not possible at this time, use a Yoga strap or tea towel to make up the difference in reach. The right knee is aligned with the right shoulder. The elbow of the left arm may be used to press the left thigh down and away from the shoulder and chest. Involvement of the left elbow improves the stretch in Eye of the Needle Pose; externally rotating the left thigh. Engaging the foot and calf of the left foot will protect the left knee. External rotation of the thigh gained in Eye of The Needle Pose is a necessary action in other poses such as One Legged Pigeon Pose. Be sure to practice slow deep breathing; maintain the pose for 5 to 10 breaths; switch to the other side. Go back and forth right, left, right, left 3-5 times for best results.
Benefits of Eye Of The Needle Pose
Improves circulation, lymphatic drainage (immunity) and mobilizes various large and fine control muscles of the hip region
Helps with proper sacro-iliac joint function; this is the region of the lower back where the triangular sacrum bone articulates with each hip bone to enable smooth and complex movements and support.
Eye of the Needle Pose is effective for gaining and maintaining a healthy groin area by improving external thigh movement. This is useful for many sports such as hockey and soccer.
For those with Piriformis muscle syndrome or Sciatica pain, Eye of the Needle Pose can release tension and pain most effectively if performed on both the unaffected and effected side. This is due to the synergistic action of both hips working off each other for maximum efficiency.
Calms the nervous system, the breath and reduces depression and negativity
Eye of the Needle pose is an easier hip opening posture than some
Eases menstrual congestion and cramping
Tips, Cautions and Alternatives
Women in their third trimester of pregnancy should avoid Eye of the needle pose unless there is a blanket placed under the hip and back on the side of the clasped knee to prevent occlusion of the descending aorta due to the direct weight of the baby. 3-5 breaths on each side are sufficient. Have assistance to move the blanket to the other side. Hormones have already loosened the hip joints considerably but the pose is useful for sacroiliac alignment and reduction of sciatic pain. Try the pose seated on an exercise ball while holding onto a counter, table, yoga ropes or ballet bar. Roll in a circular motion clock rise and counter clockwise, side-to-side to release muscle tension. There are other great poses for hip mobilization available as well. Those who have trouble getting down on the floor may find an exercise may quite manageable.
Those with herniated or prolapsed discs approach this and any other exercise with caution. There should be no pain throughout the movement. Consider Vax-D as a viable treatment to correct disc issues non-surgically. Studies show that less than 1% of people have success after back surgery. Success being full pain free function and realignment. Vax-D has an over 90% success rate; created by Physician Allan E Dyer, MD, PhD. Many of my clients have experienced being pain free after one treatment. Of course a series of 20 or more sessions are needed to correct the herniated or prolapsed disc issues. The treatment is relaxing. Eye of the Needle Pose is an effective and complimentary Yoga posture for relief and maintenance of lower back and hip wellness.
Other hip opening exercises that are recommended include Lizard Pose, Low Lunge or Crescent Moon Pose, if strong enough try High Lunge Pose, Cow Face Pose, Frog Pose and Half Spinal Twist (also known as Half Lord of the Fish Pose) and if more accomplished try One Legged Pigeon Pose.
Practice and be gentle with the self; all success is coming, enjoy the feeling in this moment. The benefits will expound and revel themselves in many positive levels of your being.
May all beings be at peace and prosper, namaste.