Eagle Pose

Garudasana

Benefits

  • Strengthens your thighs, ankles, and calves.
  • Stretches your shoulders, arms and upper back.
  • Develops focus and concetnration as it improves your balance and coordination.
  • Pose

  • Cautions

  • Modifications

  • Knee Injuries - Avoid full version of foot behind calf-only cross one leg over the other.
  • Late term pregnancy and obesity (issues with balancing)
  • Headache
  • Medical conditions that affect balance
  • Low blood pressure
  • For easier balance, place one hand on a wall.
  • For less hip stretch, do not wrap your toes around your calf and instead press the right big toe on the ground as the legs cross.
  • For deeper version, slowly bend forward resting your right elbow on the right knee.
  • Images
  • Step-by-step

Garudasana (gah-rue-DAHS-anna)
Garuda = mythic king of the birds (vehicle of Vishnu) / eagle

  1. Standing in Mountain Pose, place your feet parallel and hip width apart.
  2. Extend your spine tall and fix your gaze forward at a focal point. 
  3. Contract your core muscles as you shift your weight into your right foot and then slightly bend your knees.
  4. As you inhale, raise your right foot and cross your right left over your left thigh.  Balance on your left foot keeping your left knee from traveling too far forward over your toes.
  5. Feel as though your are always bringing your body weight even throughout the corners of your supporting foot, rather than letting the weight travel heavy into your toe mounds.  This will allow your to shift the force loads out of your knee and more into your strong thigh and hip muscles.
  6. If you right hip and knee feel ease, wrap your right toes around the back of the right lower calf muscle and ankle.
  7. Keep your left knee slightly bent and maintain a steadiness with the contraction of your core muscles.
  8. Keeping your gaze on a focal point and breathing, raise your arms parallel to the floor.
  9. Place you left elbow on the inside of your right elbow and bend your elbows so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor.
  10. If the elbows feel ease, turn the palms outwards and continue crossing the forearms so the plams come together. 
  11. Lightly reach the elbows forward to spread the back of your shoulders and upper back.  Lightly press the pad of your right thumb against the left hand to further the twist in your wrists.
  12. Hold for several breaths.
  13. To exit, slowly unwind the limbs, uncross the legs and come back to Mountain Pose. 
  14. Repeat on the other side, reversing arm and leg positions.
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