Standing Pose

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Levels: All Levels
Category: Standing Pose, Core Pose

Garuda = eagle, the name of the vehicle of Vishnu, the Hindu deity associated with the principle of preservation.

Organizing the pose

    • Come into Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
    • Exhale. Bend the legs and cross the left leg over the right thigh. Wrap the left toes behind the right calf.
    • Inhale and take the arms out to the sides and up to shoulder height.
    • Exhale and cross the right elbow over the left and bring the hands together, either palms together or hooking the fingers around the mound of the thumb.

    (Follow the actions sequentially. If you find it difficult to do any part in the sequence, then let this be as far as you go in this pose for a while, until it becomes easier to do. Then you can proceed to the next part. And so on with the final two. Take care not to overwork the shoulders if they are tight.)

    • Extend from the middle of the back between the shoulder blades out through the elbows, spreading the shoulder blades away from the spine.
    • Lift the elbows up with the fingers and forearms pointing straight up towards the ceiling, and take the upper arms parallel to the floor.
    • Lift and broaden the top of the chest up into the space created by the forearms coming together.
    • Spiral the forearms around each other, rolling the upper forearm and palm away from you.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.
    • Inhale and come back to Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
    • Repeat on the other side, bringing the right leg over the left and the left arm over the right.

Practice Points

    • Soften and broaden the upper back
    • Broaden the tops of the shoulder blades.
    • Soften and open the top of the chest.