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Eagle Yoga Pose, Garudasana

Updated on February 28, 2014
Eagle Pose or Garudasana is a balancing yoga pose.
Eagle Pose or Garudasana is a balancing yoga pose. | Source

The Eagle Pose is a standing yoga pose that improves balance and increases concentration. If this balancing pose presents a challenge gaze at a spot in front of you and breathe deeply; with practice your balance will improve.

The Eagle Pose can be performed in two ways:

  • Standing Eagle Pose
  • Seated Eagle Pose (done any time of the day)

There are a few standing poses in yoga in which you have to balance on one leg at a time. Some of these poses are:

  • Eagle Pose or Garudasana
  • Tree Pose or Vrikshasana
  • Dancer's Pose or Natarajasana
  • Warrior III Pose or Virabhadrasana III

The Sanskrit word Garudasana means:

garuda – is the name of a mythical eagle which is the vehicle of God Vishnu
asana – pose

These poses help with balance and centering. We spend so much of our time walking on floors and pavements that our link to the earth is weakened. These poses reminds us of our connection to the earth which sustains and nourishes all living beings. When holding the pose you can imagine that you are as strong and fearless as an eagle.

Benefits of the Eagle Pose or Garudasana

The eagle pose includes all the benefits of other standing poses with some that are unique to this pose:

  • energizes, stretches and strengthens the body
  • increases focus and concentration
  • improves balance
  • firms the upper arms
  • stretches the shoulders
  • opens the hips
  • strengthens the thighs, calves and knee and ankle joints
  • works the abdominal muscles
  • brings fresh supply of blood to the sexual organs and kidneys.
  • Seated Eagle Pose: stretches muscles along the upper arms and upper back, and releases any tension in the shoulders.

Eagle Yoga Pose or Garudasana

How to Perform the Eagle Yoga Pose or Garudasana

The steps to achieve the final position of the Eagle Pose or Garudasana are:

  • stand in Mountain Pose or Tadasana
  • stretch your arms out to both sides
  • bring your left arm under the right, crossing both arms at the elbow. Place your hands together palms facing each other
  • pull your upper arms to your chest and bring your hand toward your face
  • bend both knees slightly. To assist with balance, gaze at a spot in front of you on the floor or wall and breathe deeply.
  • Slowly cross your left leg over your right thigh. If you can wrap your left foot around the right ankle or calf.
  • Bend your right leg a little further, spine straight and hips forward.
  • Breathe deeply and hold for 10-15 seconds
  • release your arms first and then uncross and straighten your legs
  • repeat on the other side.

If your balance falters, try to concentrate on your breathing and focus on the spot in front of you. It all about mind over matter. Your balance depends on your ability to concentrate on a particular spot and hold your attention. Notice how when your concentration wavers you lose your balance.

Yoga asana practice is not merely a physical exercise but is for over all development of a human being.

Seated Eagle Pose (Arms Only)

Do you like to learn about easy variations before achieving the complete pose?

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Variation: Seated Eagle Yoga Pose or Upavishta Garudasana

This the variation of Eagle pose is a seated pose that can be done any time of the day. It stretches muscles along the upper arms and upper back, and releases any tension in the shoulders. It is a good pose to hold when you spend long hours at the desk.

  • Sit in any comfortable seated position on the chair or cross-legged on the floor.
  • Make sure the spine is elongated, and your shoulders are down and away from your ears.
  • bring your left arm under the right, crossing both arms at the elbow. Place your hands together palms facing each other. Your hands should be about 6 inches (15cm) away from your face
  • uncross your arms and give them a few gentle shakes
  • Repeat other side: bring your right arm under the left, crossing both arms at the elbow. Place your hands together palms facing.
  • When you are ready, release your arms and give them a few gentle shakes.

Both the variations of the Eagle pose are beneficial to the body and mind. They can be included into the yoga asana routine. Your will notice that one side is easier to get into the position than the other. Yoga poses are all about creating the right balance between both sides of the body. That is the reason for repeating the same pose on both sides.

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