BALANCE SERIES #6: EAGLE POSE
Do you like to play the games Solitaire or Twister? Find out how Eagle Pose combines these two vastly different games into one pose for everyone.
There are a few different ways to get into Eagle pose. Some people like to start moving their arms first, while others prefer to start with the legs.
Most instructors have you start in Chair Pose . Since, I have not featured that pose in a blog yet, I will do my best to take you through the pose as if you have never been in a yoga class before.
Start in a standing position with feet under hips. Slowly shift your weight onto one leg. Wrap the other leg around the standing leg. You can touch your toes to the mat or hook your foot around the opposite calf. Sit back with your hips, keeping your spine neutral. Breathe!!!
If you feel unstable, stand near a wall for support.
Begin to cross your arms with the bottom arm on the same side as the top leg. In other words, the elbow and knee of the same side could touch if you could get your knee high enough. It’s important to keep your back straight and your elbows level with your shoulders. Continue to wrap your arms so that your palms are touching (or the back of your hands if you can’t comfortably wrap farther). Lift up through your chest and arms while pushing your weight down through the standing foot. Contract your abdominal muscles for stability. Try to keep your shoulders and tailbone in neutral alignment.
If you have shoulder or knee concerns, use caution in this pose. It is ok to place your hands at heart center. As with any pose, it’s not supposed to be painful.
Stop if anything doesn’t feel right.
Loosens and strengthens ankles and hips
Loosens wrists and shoulders
Releases tightness between shoulder blades and across sacrum
Helps to improve concentration and balance
So how does this pose combine the 2 games? Getting into Eagle Pose for the first few times may feel like you are playing a solitary game of Twister. You twist and stretch and wrap your limbs around each other until you can barely tell right from left and up from down. To help you find your balance you can reflect on how this pose got its name. Garuda, though often translated as “Eagle” or “King of the Bird,” is actually a mythical bird that can ride the wind all day without tiring. See how far you can fly without tiring!