Eagle Pose or Garudasana is named after the bird ‘Eagle’ known as Garuda in Sanskrit. Garudasana is said to be the only pose that opens up the 14 largest joints in the skeletal system.
Eagle Pose strengthens the muscles of the legs and knees and is considered to be a good pose for football players who are the most prone to knee injuries.
The Eagle Pose loosens the joints of the legs and strengthens the calf muscles, knees and ankles. It also stretches the outer thighs, hips, shoulders and upper back. This pose opens up the back of the pelvis and also creates a space between the shoulder blades. Eagle Pose increases blood circulation to all joints.
Garudasana is a great pose for the central nervous system as it improves focus and concentration and enhances the sense of balance of the body. It alleviates sciatica and rheumatism pain and has therapeutic effects on asthma and low backache patients. Eagle Pose improves digestion and elimination process of the body and also strengthens the immune system. This pose clears up reproductive problems as it supplies fresh blood to the reproductive system.
Getting into Pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Initial Position: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Drishti or Gaze: Forward
- Begin in Mountain Pose keeping your feet close together.
- Bend your knees a little and lift up your left foot. While balancing your body on your right foot, cross your left thigh over your right thigh. The left foot’s toes should point to the floor and hook the top of the left foot behind the right calf. Continue to balance yourself on the right foot.
- Stretch out your arms in front of you (parallel to the floor). Cross them such that the right arm is above the left arm and then bend your elbows. Place the right elbow in the crook of the left elbow. Let your forearms be perpendicular to the floor and make sure that the back of your hands are facing each other.
- Curl the hands further so that the palms of both hands are facing each other now. Press the palms together and stretch the fingers towards the ceiling.
- Stay in the pose for 15 secs to half a minute. Uncurl the arms and legs and relax in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Begin again in Mountain Pose and repeat the pose thrice with the arms and legs reversed.
- Forward Bend Eagle Pose – Advanced version: This is a challenging version of Eagle Pose. Perform the Eagle Pose as described above and bend your torso forward touching your forearms to the thigh of the leg on top. Hold for 3 breaths and repeat with the other arm and leg. This pose stretches the back muscles.
Beginners might find it difficult to balance their body with the curled legs and arms. They should try to squeeze and curl the limbs together tightly. The more they are able to curl themselves up, the easier they will find it to balance themselves.
- Do not perform this pose if you have a arm, knee or hip injury.