Eagle Pose : Garudasana
This pose can be a challenge for beginners as it looks like you wrap yourself up like a pretzel in this pose! But on closer inspection you will find great benefit in mastering this very accessible yoga posture. Give it a try!
Eagle Pose, also known as Garudasana in Sanskrit, is a challenging yoga posture that requires balance, strength, and flexibility. It is an excellent pose for improving concentration, coordination, and circulation. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do Eagle Pose:
How to get there…
- Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, toes pointing forward, and arms by your sides. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet, and engage your leg muscles by lifting your kneecaps and engaging your thighs. Lift your chest, relax your shoulders, and lengthen your spine. Draw your navel towards your spine to engage your core muscles. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself.
- Cross your right leg over your left thigh
Shift your weight onto your left foot, and lift your right foot. Cross your right thigh over your left thigh, placing your right foot behind your left calf. If you can, try to hook your right toes around your left calf for added stability (double bind). But keep in mind that doulbe binding is not necessary for most people and it can be too much for many body types. You can rest your right toes on a block to help with balance. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed on both feet. Using a block is a great way to master this pose!
- Cross your arms
Bring your arms to shoulder height, parallel to the ground. Cross your right arm over your left arm at the elbows, and wrap your forearms around each other, bringing your palms together. If your palms don’t touch, try to press your forearms and hands together as much as you can. Lift your elbows, and draw your hands away from your face. Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
- Hold the pose
Maintain the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, keeping your gaze steady and soft. Try to sink a little deeper into the pose with each exhale, but don’t force yourself beyond your limits. Engage your core muscles to help with balance, and keep your standing leg strong and stable. Release the pose by unwinding your arms and legs, and repeat on the other side.
- If you find it difficult to balance, you can try pressing your palms together instead of wrapping your arms around each other. Or use another arm varition we discuss in the video!
- Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet by using a block, and engage your leg muscles to help with stability.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears, and draw your shoulder blades down your back.
- If you have tight shoulders, you can modify the pose by bringing your hands to your shoulders and pressing your elbows together.
- If you have knee or ankle injuries, you can modify the pose by crossing your ankle over your calf instead of your thigh.
- Practice the Eagle Pose regularly to improve your balance, focus, and flexibility.
The Eagle Pose can be challenging, but with practice, you can master it and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer. Remember to practice with mindfulness and listen to your body, never pushing yourself beyond your limits. Enjoy your practice!
Comments from our teaching staff
I always say that you are wrapping your limbs around your center, and the pose is not off-balance at all. Meaning that your shoulders and hips are still lined up. I love the space that eagle gives you in between your shoulder blades. One of my favorite cues is to squeeze your thighs together like you’re standing in line for the bathroom. 🙂
A great one for steadiness and ease because you’re all squeezed up but also have to sink and bend the knees.
It also helps you understand your own chair pose and how/where you engage for it. Like if Eagle is comfy and chair is not, notice why. The eye of the eagle drishti.
When you are learning this pose, use a block to help stabilize the posture! A block will help you feel the muscles you need to hold this pose.
Next time you are on your mat, play around with these alignment tips and find what works best for you.
If you have a specific pose you would like us to feature in the future, let us know!
Join us for a class online or in-studio! Namaste.
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