Eye of the Needle




1. On you hands and knees in Table pose, slide the right hand between the left hand and left knee. Slide the arm all the way out to the left so that the right shoulder and side of the head rest comfortably on the floor.

2. Inhale and reach the left hand up towards the ceiling. At first explore the posture with the arm, finding the place were you feel the deepest stretch, then stay there and reach out through the fingers.

3. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

4. To release: exhale the palm back to the floor and slowly inhale back to Table pose.

5. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Threading the Needle pose stretches the shoulders, arms, upper back and neck.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the knees, shoulders, or neck.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a folded blanket under the knees to protect them from pressure and stress.

Variations: Cross upper hand over back and hold onto the inside of opposite thigh.


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

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Table, Down Dog, Hero.

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15 responses to “Eye of the Needle”

  1. Jonathan Veit Avatar
    Jonathan Veit

    I very much enjoy this pose but lost track of where I learned. The sanskrit name seems to predominately refer to another type of pose all together so I wondered if there was any clarity on origin or names.

    1. Timothy Burgin Avatar
      Timothy Burgin

      Different traditions use different Sanskrit words for poses, but there is a general agreement to use the Iyengar tradition’s names, but things get tricky when discussing yoga poses outside of the scope of what Iyengar taught.

  2. Seyed Avatar

    This pose helps me release congestion in my sinuses . It gives me relief. I hold the pose for 3 min. O each side

    Thank you posting it.

  3. DonK Avatar

    What is the pose: sitting in a chair, 1 leg crossed -ankle on other knee. The arm on the side of the crossed leg goes down through the opening and the other arm goes down the outside of the other leg where both hands meet and hands are clasped on the front side of the shin that is touching the ground. Thank you.

  4. Esthers Ehardy Avatar
    Esthers Ehardy

    I love the deep yet gentle spinal twist of this yoga pose!

  5. Larry Impog Avatar
    Larry Impog

    Thank you for the excellent detailed instructions on how to do this yoga pose! I love how this asana stretches my upper back! Cheers!!

  6. Phil Gumery Avatar
    Phil Gumery

    I’ve always be confused by this yoga pose…thank you for explaining it so clearly. I love the great asana photos on your site!

  7. Milanaglurn Avatar

    I love YogaBasics! Thank you for these great instructions on how to do this yoga pose. Namaste.

  8. Boris Dolereta Avatar
    Boris Dolereta

    Wow, this is a great explanation of this pose. With these instructions, I will easily be able to practice the eye of the needle pose!

  9. Nellie Ramos Avatar
    Nellie Ramos

    Hello i am new user and i would to ask you, How do you modify this yoga pose with wrist pain?

  10. Kaitlin M. Avatar
    Kaitlin M.

    I have been struggling with doing eye of the needle pose correctly. I think I need more instruction on how to do it properly. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  11. Laura Miller Avatar
    Laura Miller

    Threading the Needle is a great pose and now I know how to do it correctly. Thank you for your expertise!

  12. Joanne Clarkson Avatar
    Joanne Clarkson

    I’m amazed at how versatile Threading the Needle is – there are so many wonderful variations

  13. Oliver Davis Avatar
    Oliver Davis

    I never knew that such a simple-looking pose could be so beneficial in releasing tension in my upper back and shoulders. As a beginner, I found this pose to be easy to follow with the step-by-step instructions.

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