Dragonfly Pose
March 31, 2015
Easy Pose
March 30, 2015

Eagle Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Garudasana
(gah-rue-DAHS-anah)
garuda = fierce bird of prey, eagle /
king of birds, vehicle of Lord Vishnu

BENEFITS

  • Opens hip external rotators and thoracic spine musculature
  • Strengthens the quadriceps and gluteals of the balancing leg
  • Improves balance and stability
  • Challenges the breath and focuses the mind

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Respiratory pathologies
  • Balance deficits
  • Low back pathologies
  • Ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder injury

HOW TO

  1. Start in Tadasana (Mountain pose).
  2. Inhale and cross your right leg over your left thigh. Wrap the top of your right foot around your left calf.
  3. Exhale, raise your left arm in front of you, and bend your elbow to 90 degrees. Draw your right arm under your elbow, press the forearms together, and wrap the right hand around your left wrist to bind.
  4. Inhale, allowing your spine to lengthen and chest to expand.
  5. Exhale and draw the abdominals inward. Begin to sink the hips backward, bending the supporting leg. Slowly hinge the torso forward to deepen the pose, or feel free to stay where you are.
  6. Hold Eagle pose for up to 5-10 slow breaths.
  7. To exit, inhale and press through your supporting leg to rise to standing. Exhale and release your limbs.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Rise to standing on an inhale and sink back into the posture on an exhale.
  • Wrap the arms with the top of the hands pressing into each other.
  • Take the toe of the crossed leg to the floor for support.
  • Keep the knees stacked side by side instead of wrapping.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the upper and lower spine extended.
  • Cross your (right/left) leg over the opposite thigh, engage your inner thighs, and press your hips backward.
  • Place your (right/left) elbow on top of the opposite elbow crease, and press your forearms together.
  • On each inhale, feel your chest expand and spine lengthen. On each exhale, sink deeper and bend forward to deepen the posture.

VARIATIONS

  • Bend forward at the hips and squat lower to deepen the posture.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Weight leaning into the toes instead of evenly distributed throughout the corners of the foot
  • Knees drifting over the toes, out of line with the ankles