asana tips and trivia: astavakrasana
asta = eight, vakra = bent/curved, asana = posture/seat
According to Wikipedia, this posture – Eight angled pose in English – is dedicated to Astavakra, a sage and spiritual guru. While the sage was still unborn, his father Kagola made several mistakes when reciting the Vedas. Hearing this happen, the unborn sage laughed (in the womb). The father heard this (from the outside), became really upset, and cursed his son to be born crooked in eight places (hence the name Astavakra). When the boy later on came to be a guru, however, mad daddy blessed him, and his deformity vanished. So easy!
This posture can be broken down into a few steps making it easier to grasp – pay extra special attention to really pinching your arm using your legs. Squeezing your feet and legs together greatly reduces the slip risk!