Himalayan Yoga Academy

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GARUDASANA (EAGLE POSE)

31 Dec 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

GARUDASANA (EAGLE POSE)

Janghorubhyaam Dharaam Peedya sthirakaayo dvijaanunaa;
Jaanoopari Karadvandvam Garudaasana-mushyate !! G.S. 2.37!!

Press the ground with both the thighs and knees, keep the body steady and sit with both hands on the knees. This is called Garudasana. The practice of Garudasana as explained by Sage Gheranda is a meditation posture, requiring great suppleness of the Knees. It is different from the way the asana is commonly practiced today, although the benefits for both versions are similar.

Garudasana is a standing pose in which the yogi twists one arm with the other and one leg with the other. The term comes from the Sanskrit words, garuda (“eagle”) and asana (“pose”).

Garudasana is an asymmetric position in which one leg, say the right, is crossed over the left, while the arm on the opposite side, say the left, is crossed over the right, and the palms are pressed together. Like all poses on one leg, it demands, and may help to build, balance and concentration.

Meaning of Garudasana

In Garudasana, Garuda represents a mythical bird having head, wings, talons, and beak of an eagle and the body of a man. Eagle’s beak resembles Garudasana pose, indeed, the way hands and legs are folded or wrapped in eagle pose, resembles a Garuda who has wrapped their wings to cover something within it. While wrapped hands in this pose show “beak of eagle”, firm wrapped feet is a representation of an unshakable foundation. Therefore it’s called Eagle Pose. Begin in mountain pose then cross the left thigh over the right thigh and hook the left foot behind the right calf, knees bent. The right elbow is then placed into the crook of the left elbow as the palms of both hands come together. Repeat on the other side. Garudasana is also referred to as eagle pose in English.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Steps

-Slightly bend your knees, lift your left leg balancing the body on the right leg. Place the left thigh over the right thigh.
-Wrap the shin of your left leg around the calf of the right leg. Hook the top of the left foot in the lower right calf. Balance the body on right leg.
-Raise the arms in front and parallel to the floor, palms facing upward direction. Next, cross your arms placing the right arm above the left arm.
-Bend the elbows making the forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap the left forearm around and under the right forearm. Rest your left hand’s fingers firmly on your right palm. Keep the spine erect.
-Focus your gaze at a fixed point at a distance of 4-5 feet away. This is the final position. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds taking deep breaths.
-To return, gently release the arms first and then the legs to come back in starting position
-Take 3 deep and long breaths practice from the other side by interchanging the position of legs and arms.
Practice 2-3 times with each side.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Benefits

Strengthens ankles and increase flexibility in shoulder joints
It enhances the sense of balance of the body
It also strengthens the muscles of the legs
It can loosen the joints of the legs
It alleviates sciatica and rheumatism in the leg joints
 Improves concentration for meditative practices
Develops a sense of balance and coordination
Helpful in getting rid of urinary problems
Beneficial for the male reproductive organs
Prevents cramps in the calf muscles
Beneficial in sciatica and rheumatism in leg joints
Regulates the functioning of kidney and cures prostate problems
Stretches calves, shoulders, upper back, hips and thighs

Anatomy

Garudasana benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus; Arms and Shoulders; Upper Back; Feet and Ankles; Hamstrings; Hips; Knees

Garudasana Yoga sequences

Garudasana is commonly found in the following types of yoga sequences:; Iyengar yoga sequences; Kids yoga sequences; Prenatal yoga sequences; Postnatal yoga sequences; Teens Yoga sequences; Hip opening yoga sequences

Precautions & Contraindications

Avoid eagle pose if you have recently a knee injury or surgery, in case of pregnancy – consult your doctor.
Condition of wrist, elbow, and shoulder should also refrain.
Avoid doing in vertigo, arthritis, and; might go mild under the guidance of a qualified instructor in the case of frozen shoulder.
Don’t forcefully try to hook your legs and hands in this pose. Surround yourself with bolster and folded blankets if in case you fall down.

Beginner’s Tip

One of the most common problems or difficulty the beginners face while doing this pose is to wrap the arms around until the palms touch. To overcome this stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor while holding onto the ends of a strap. Another difficulty they face is to hook the raised leg foot behind the standing leg calf and then balance on the standing foot. To overcome this cross the legs and instead of hooking the raised foot and calf, press the big toe of the raised leg foot against the floor to help maintain your balance.

Variations

Originally this pose is supposed to be performed with a straight spine so that it represents the mythical bird Garuda, however some people make the spine round, which could either be a variation or a mistake. A challenging variation to this pose could be, once you are in the final position exhale and lean your torso into a forward bend, pressing the forearms against the top leg thigh. Hold for a few breaths, then come up with an inhalation and repeat it on the other side.

Preparatory Pose

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Downward-facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

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