Garudasana (Eagle Pose) : How to Do It, Benefits, Step by Step Instructions & Precautions

Garudasana

Also known as Eagle pose.

Garuda was considered King of birds and also represented as Lord Vishnu’s vehicle.

Garudasana comes from the ancient Hatha yoga practice. It is an intermediate hip-closing pose which requires the practitioner to intertwine their arms and legs and balance all their body weight on one foot.

This pose improves balance, calms the mind and strengthens the ankles, knees and calves while gently stretching the hip, shoulders, thighs, upper-back.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Step by Step Instruction

1) Stand in tadasan, slightly bend left leg and firmly plant it on the floor, slowly lift right leg up.

2) Place your right thigh high across the left thigh(cross-legged) and aim to wrap your right leg on top of left leg, by taking your right shin behind your left calf.

3) Try to hook your right ankle behind the left leg. Keep actively squeezing your legs together.

4) stretch your arms to the side, palms facing upwards. Gently bring them in front and bend your elbows, bringing them closer to each other.

5) place your right elbow a little over the crease of left elbow and wrap your forearms around each other. Squeeze your left fingers against right palm. Right hand fingers point towards the ceiling/sky.

6) fix your gaze at a point in front (3-5 feet away) and keep your knee comfortably bent for better stability.  Hold the pose for 3-5 deep breaths and switch the pose with the other side (balancing on right leg, with left leg and arm on top of right leg and right arm) Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.

For a more challenging variation, try to lift your heel. Or try to balance with closed eyes (be careful)

How to come back:

Gently release your arms first, spread them to the side for improving stability.

Squeeze your inner thighs closer to each other and unhook your ankle, unwrap your leg and place your foot on the floor and return to samasthithi.

Tips to avoid injuries:

#You may warm up your ankles by doing ankle circles before getting into pose.

 #Incase your ankles are not flexible or strong, you may gently lean against a wall and keep pushing your foot against the calf of lower leg.

#Fixing your gaze at a point in eye-line helps in improving your balance.

#You may choose to intertwine your arms first followed by legs.

#Keep firmly pushing the lower foot against the floor and squeezing your thighs and forearms together. Feel your shoulder blades stretching away from each other.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Contraindications/pose to be avoided by:

# People who have had recent ankle/ knee/ shoulder injury should avoid this pose.

# People who are pregnant

#People suffering from asthma, high or low Blood Pressure

# People who are obese (may do it with the support of a wall)

#People with frequent headaches

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Benefits

#strengthens ankles. increases  shoulders’ flexibility

#improves blood circulation towards the reproductive organs, improving their functioning.

#Also aids in improving PCOD/menstrual problems, urinary problems, kidney problems, and  prostrate related problems

# relieves sciatica pain and rheumatism pain in legs.

# stretches calves, upper back, shoulders, thighs, and relieves cramps in calves.

#develops balance and coordination

#calms mind, makes us ready for meditative practices.

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