What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Do not practice Garudasana if you have a current or recent knee injury. Those in late-term pregnancy should also avoid this pose, or should practice it against a wall for balancing assistance. If you have any other condition that affects balance, such as low blood pressure, headaches, or inner ear problems, practice this pose against a wall.
How To Do The Garudasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Stand erect. Gently bend your right knee, and wrap your left leg around your right, such that the knees are stacked over each other. Your left foot must touch your right shin.
Raise your arms to the shoulder height and wrap your right hand around your left.
2. Ensure that your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles and are also stacked.
3. Strike a balance in the pose as you gently bring down your hips. Your knees must move towards the midline instead of leaning to one side.
4. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Breathe deeply and slowly. Focus on the third eye, and let go of your negative emotions.
5. Release the pose, switch the limbs, and repeat the pose.
Keep the following information in mind when performing this pose:
- Squeeze your thighs and arms together tightly. The more compact you can make your body, the more balance you will gain.
- Work to keep your hands, arms, and thighs in one straight line.
- If you’re having trouble crossing your legs or wrapping your foot, sink your hips even lower in the pose.
- To sit deeper, squeeze your thighs together even more. Keep your inner thighs firmly pressing throughout the pose.
- Practice just the arms of the pose (generally referred to as “Eagle Arms”) throughout the day to counterbalance the shoulder and neck strain from sitting in front of a computer or driving!
Beginners find it difficult to hook the raised-leg foot behind the standing-leg calf, and then balance on the standing foot. As a short-term option cross the legs but, 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.
Modifications & Variations
Try these simple changes to find a variation of the pose that works best for you:
- If you can’t yet hook your top foot behind your standing-leg calf, rest the big toe of your raised foot on the floor to help with balance. You can also rest your top-leg foot on a yoga block.
- Beginners and those having trouble balancing can practice this pose against a wall. Stand with your back to the wall, so the wall supports your back torso as you practice the pose.
- For a deeper challenge, come to the full pose. Then, exhale as you lean your torso forward and press your forearms against your top-leg thigh. Inhale to release and unwind, then repeat on the opposite side.
- Some yoga styles will have you hold your elbows high and in line with your shoulders; others will tell you to draw your elbows down toward the floor. There is no right or wrong, but if you’re in a class, follow the direction your teacher gives — he or she is instructing you that way for a reason!
Benefits Of Eagle Pose
- This asana helps to stretch the thighs, hips, upper back, and shoulders.
- It helps you focus and also improves your ability to balance.
- The calf muscles get strengthened with this asana.
- It also helps to relieve pain associated with rheumatism and sciatica.
- It helps to make the back, legs, and hips more flexible.
- This asana also works as a stress buster.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Prasarita Padottanasana
- Supta Virasana
- Supta Baddha Konasana
- Upavistha Konasana
Garudasana is usually sequenced near the end of the standing pose series. The arm position in the pose is particularly useful in teaching how to widen the back torso in inverted poses like Adho Mukha Vrksasana and Sirsasana. Other follow-up poses might include:
Holding the pose while focusing on your breath and gaze builds grace and calm determination. Work on getting the proper alignment, then work to hold the pose for extended periods. With Garuda’s pose, you can fight and win against the demons of stiffness and imbalance!