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Asana Analysis

Published on June 14th, 2016 | by Catherine Tingey

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EAGLE POSE

EAGLE POSE (Garudasana) is a posture widely loved in the Bikram yoga tradition and taught to a lesser extent in Vinyasa yoga.  Combining both balancing and twisting, as well as work with the gaze (drishti), it can be a powerful addition to your yoga practice.

Let’s break it down.

I like to get into this pose through CRESCENT but any time the body is warm, the hips and ankles have been oiled, as well as the shoulders, is a fine time to take Eagle Pose. Approaching Eagle pose from MOUNTAIN pose is a great way to teach it.

Mostly, just remember that Twists in yoga always have the upper extremities and the lower extremities moving in opposite directions.

(* Note, sometimes I get my right and left mixed up as in these demo photos. If the right leg is on top, the right arm should be on bottom.)

Private-Yoga-Santa Monica - Eagle 2ALIGNMENT

Lift the right foot off the floor and cross the right knee over the left knee. Only if available, wrap a second time, right toes behind left ankle.

Open the arms and cross the left elbow over the right elbow.

Bring the backs of the hands together, or if it’s available, cross the wrist and bring the palms together.

Sit slightly down as in CHAIR pose.

BENEFITSPrivate-Yoga-Brentwood-Eagle

  • Improves physical balance
  • Improves steadiness of the mind
  • Strengthens ankles, thighs and gluteal muscles
  • Opens shoulders and thoracic spine

WORK IN THE POSE

Keep the weight in the heels.

Lift the torso away from the thighs by engaging the belly, and shining through the heart.

Relax the shoulderblades down away from the ears.

Lift the elbows toward the sky while keeping the shoulder blades wide along the upper back.

Soften your gaze.

FOLLOW UP POSES

I like to take WARRIOR III or HALF-MOON after Eagle Pose to counteract the constriction in this posture.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Knee injuries
  • Ankle injuries

 

 

 

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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