Eagle

Sanskrit: Garudasana

Eagle is a challenging balance which is also a bind. This pose strengthens your legs, opens your hips and shoulders and requires full focus.

How to get into the pose:

  • From Mountain Pose (Tadasana) inhale to reach your arms up and exhale to bend your knees (a chair pose variation)

  • Bring your right arm under your left and cross at your elbows. Try to cross your wrists (as best as you are able to) or bring the backs of the palms together

  • Lift up your right foot and cross right leg over the left. Point to right toes to the floor or try to tuck the foot around the left calf

  • Try to keep your shoulders over your hips

  • Draw your abdominal muscles in and up (engage uddiyana bandha)

  • Take deep breaths

  • Draw your shoulders down, keep your elbows in line with shoulders and your wrists stacked over the elbows

  • Exhale to uncross your right leg

  • Inhale to straighten your legs and reach your arms up

  • Exhale to return to Mountain Pose

Remember to create the balance between effort and ease in your pose.

How long to stay in the pose:

  • Five breaths on each side

Gaze (Drishti)

  • A still spot ahead of you

Modifications you can take to make this pose more accessible:

  • If you cannot cross your arms, try taking opposite hand to opposite shoulder as in pictures four and five

  • If crossing the legs is too much, try resting your right foot outside left knee

Variations:

  • Drop your elbows to touch your knees and look to the floor

Contraindications / Cautions:

  • Be careful with Eagle pose if you have knee problems or recent knee surgery