Eight-Limbed Pose


Pronunciation: (AH-sh-tong-AH-sana)

Level: Basic


1. From Dog tilt, slowly exhale and lower the chin and chest straight down to the floor, bringing the chest between the palms.

2. Keep the elbows close to your sides, press the chest down towards the floor and lift the tailbone up towards the ceiling.

3. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths or vinyasa between dog tilt and caterpillar, inhaling into dog and exhaling into caterpillar.

4. Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.

5. To release, inhale into dog tilt and exhale into table or slide the chest forward through the arms into prone position.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Caterpillar pose stretches the neck and shoulders and lengthens and realigns the spine. This posture strengthens the arms and upper body.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the wrists, elbows, shoulders, back or neck.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: A) Place a blanket under the knees.


Caterpillar is pose to transition from seated poses to prone poses.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Dog, Cat, Table, Threading the Needle, Tiger.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Table, Cobra, Sphinx, Boat, Dolphin, Child.

Other Names

Eight-Limbed Pose is also known as Caterpillar,  Ashtanga Namaskara, Astang Pranam, or Astapadasana.


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