Take your balance and flexibility to new heights by practicing the Eagle pose on a regular basis. Additionally, if you’re looking to boost endurance and improve concentration, the Eagle pose is one for you to try.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
‘Garuda’ equals to the ‘king of the birds’ or the ‘vehicle of Vishnu.’ A pose taken while standing, eagle pose puts your balance to the test and empowers you to stay standing as you achieve strength.
Eagle Pose Directions:
The following steps will guide you through your practice of performing the eagle pose.
Start in a standing position with your knees slightly bent. Lift your right foot up to balance on your left foot and twist the right foot around the left thigh.
Your right toes should be flexed and pointed towards the floor as you hook your toes behind the left calf. Focus on your balance.
Extend your arms to make them parallel to the floor and cross your left arm above the right. Bending the elbows, hook the left elbow over the right and lift both arms to make them perpendicular to the ground. The back of your palms should be facing each other.
Bring your palms to touch and lift your elbows up as you stretch your fingers towards the ceiling and maintain your balance on the left foot. Hold this pose for at least 15 to 30 seconds, making sure to breathe.
Slowly return to starting position by gently unwinding your arms and legs. Repeat this pose to balance on the right leg and even out both sides.
Eagle Pose Variation:
If you’re looking for a challenge, layer up by using your torso to lean forward and press your forearms against the thigh of the leg on top.
Focus on your breath and hold for a few seconds before rising up to stand straight on your leg. Make sure to repeat this layer when you switch sides.
Benefits of Eagle Pose:
Some added benefits that come with practicing the eagle pose include:
- Stretches the hamstrings, quads, calves, and shoulders
- Improves flexibility
- Strengthens the calves and ankles
- Opens up the joints in the body
- Detoxes and flushes out the system
- Beneficial for runners
- Promotes focus and concentration
- Improves balance
Eagle Pose Precautions:
Like with most exercise, your doctor should give you a green light before practicing any vigorous poses and postures, especially as you recover from any injuries or suffer from any chronic conditions.
It is best to avoid practicing the eagle pose under the following circumstances:
- During pregnancy, especially in the later trimesters
- Knee or ankle injuries
- Cardiac problems
Eagle Pose Follow-Up Poses
A pose often practiced at the end of a yoga routine or flow, eagle pose is extremely helpful to widen the back torso due to the positioning of the arms.
Some follow-up poses to practice after performing the eagle pose are the following:
- Cow Face pose (Gomukhasana)
- Chair pose (Ukatasana)
- Tree pose (Vrksasana)
1. How can one practice the eagle pose?
The eagle pose strives to build strength, promote flexibility, and improve one’s balance. You will have to stand on one leg to carry out this pose. By following the instructions given above, you will be able to practice this pose in no time.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/20/2018
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Courtesy The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (E), Mumbai