EAGLE POSE (Garudasana)

   

Contra-indications: Low back, shoulder, hip or knee injuries.

How to perform: Begin standing in Tadasana. Stretch the arms out in front and parallel to the floor, cross the right arm over the left, bend the elbows, raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor and bring the palms to touch. If possible press the palms together, lift the elbows up to the shoulder level, and stretch the fingers toward the sky Keep your gaze fixed on a stable focus point somewhere in front of you, bend the knees and shift the weight onto the right leg. Bring the left leg up and cross the left thigh over the right. As an easier option, press the big toe of the left foot against the floor to help maintain the balance. Full variation requires balancing on the right foot with the left foot hooked behind the right-leg calf. Hold for 6-12 breaths. Exit the posture unwinding the arms and legs. Repeat on the other side.

Do not round the back - extend the tailbone toward the floor, keep the chest lifted, and reach the crown of the head upward.

Do relax the shoulders and draw the shoulder blades down the back. Square the hips toward the front. Bring the pelvis into an upright, neutral position as much as possible. Sense the center line of the body and rotate the knees and elbows toward a position facing straight forward.

What if... I am not able to wrap the arms around until the palms touch? Stretch the arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, while holding onto the ends of a strap. Follow the rest of the instructions above and keep the strap taut between the hands.

Benefits: Stretches your upper back, shoulders, hips and outer thighs. Strengthens and stretches the arms, ankles and calves. Increases circulation to all the joints. Massages the abdominal and pelvic organs, especially ovaries and testes. Improves balance and concentration.

  
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