Stretch your upper body, strengthen your core and lower body, and improve your balance with Eagle Pose!
Eagle Pose (Garudasana) may look challenging, but it’s actually quite doable, even for many yoga beginners. It does require some balance and strength in the legs and core, and doing this pose regularly will help to stretch the legs, hips and shoulders, build strength in the lower body, and increase flexibility in the legs and shoulders. It also helps to improve concentration and balance, and may help to relieve lower back and sciatic pain.
If you have trouble finding your balance in Eagle Pose, you can stand next to a wall to support yourself as you learn to find your center and hold the pose. You can also use a strap to help you achieve the arm wrap, and if you have trouble hooking your raised foot around your leg, you can take a modified version by simply crossing the legs and then pressing the big toe of the front foot to the floor to help keep your balance.
Those with knee injuries should skip this pose, or use only the modified leg position mentioned above.
How to Do Eagle Pose:
Stand in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot.
Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your scapulas wide across the back of your torso. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other.
Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.
Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, then unwind the legs and arms and stand in Tadasana again. Repeat for the same length of time with the arms and legs reversed.
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