The Eagle pose is so named because when doing this pose, you place your hands together in front of your face, making your hands appear like the beak of an eagle. Secondly this pose helps you to improve your powers of concentration. The eagle is a bird that is considered to have immense powers of concentration to focus its attention on any prey that is moving on the ground. The eagle can spot its prey from many feet up in the sky and swoop down to whisk away its quarry.
So the Eagle pose which is also called the Garudasana, is basically a balancing and concentration pose. Although a simple pose, you should consult your doctor and yoga therapist before you start doing this pose, especially if you suffer from leg injuries, postural vertigo and sharp variations in your blood pressure.
You start from a standing position and move your legs away from each other so that there is a shoulder’s length of distance between them. Now stiffen the muscles of your right leg and then shift your weight on to that leg as you lift your left leg. You need to hold your right leg erect, but without locking your knee to prevent the knee from spraining as you do the pose.
To balance yourself in this posture, lift your arms and hold them horizontal to the floor at the level of your shoulders. As you stretch out your arms, they help to stabilize your position when you do the next move.
Lift your left leg and bend it from the knee and wrap the leg around the right leg. When you are learning to do this pose, you may position yourself near a wall and rest one hand on the wall, to help you to retain your balance. As you warp your leg, you should lock your left foot against the calf muscle of your right leg. If you find it difficult to wrap your left leg this way, then you can simply place the left shin against the calf muscle of the right leg.
Now bring both your arms in front of you, and in a circular motion, warp your right arm over your left arm. Your right elbow is placed over your left arm. At this stage if you find it difficult to wrap your arms this way, hold a napkin in your right hand and hold the other end of the napkin with your left hand. A few days of practice will enable you to wrap your arms properly till you are able to wrap your right palm into your left palm.
Both your palms together now look like the beak of a bird. Focus your attention on any one point on your arms, to help you to psychologically maintain your balance.
Pause for some time in this position, and then release your arms, to spread them out to either side, at the level of your shoulders. You do this to help you to maintain your balance. Release your left leg and place it on the mat. Repeat the above steps by wrapping your right leg over your left leg.
This pose improves your ability to balance yourself, and also improves your powers of concentration. It also helps to strengthen your calf and thigh muscles and makes your shoulders and arms supple.
Eagle Pose – Garudasana
Understanding Garudasana or the Eagle Pose
Video of the Eagle Pose