Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Eagle Pose, or Garudasana as it’s called in Sanskrit, is a balancing position that resembles a twisted pretzel. There is a lot going on in this position with both the arms and the legs. Not only does the posture require stability for balance, it also requires a good deal of flexibility, concentration, and dedication to accomplish.

Eagle Pose strengthens the feet and calves while stretching the hips and shoulders. A strong core and fierce focus are also necessary components. Eagle Pose is a very different balancing posture than others because it draws the limbs inward. It is a contracting posture rather than expansive, which many asana are.

The Sanskrit name for the pose, Garudasana, refers to a type of mythological bird from Hindu stories that was a powerful consort of the Lord Vishnu. He was said to be powerful enough to devour the sun’s rays.

How to Do Eagle Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Stand with your feet underneath your hips. Extend your arms out in front of you and cross your left arm on top of your right. Bend the arms so the elbows stay together. Eventually, you can twist the hands together so the left hand clasps the right.

Step 2

Then, bend into your legs and lift your right foot off the mat. Cross the right knee over the left knee, squeezing the inner thighs tightly. Keep the hips square and the weight of your body in your heels.

Step 3

From here, you can try to wrap the wrap foot around the left calf. It is important to ensure the hips do not twist as you perform this action. Relax the shoulders down as you lift the elbows upward.

Eagle Pose Benefits

  • Stretches hips and shoulders
  • Strengthens feet, calves, thighs, and core
  • Develops focus, concentration, and dedication
  • Improves balance
  • Eases sciatica