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4 Ways to Practice Eagle Pose

0 2 years ago

Many of us mistakenly assume it is someone who practices yoga and meditation every day, or who can come into each posture’s “full expression” (an ableist term I intentionally avoid in all my classes).

By my definition, you are an “advanced practitioner” if you are able to tune inward during a yoga practice and make the correct decision for yourself with each pose based on what is happening for you, physically and emotionally, in that moment. This could mean choosing to take a restful position rather than doing an extra Sun Salutation A. Keeping a less intense degree of bend in your front knee during a Warrior Pose. Or using a prop to support yourself in a challenging pose such as Garudasana (Eagle Pose).

The traditional version of Garudasana asks you to stand on one leg and wrap your other leg over and around it. Then you wrap your arms around each other, too, perhaps with your palms touching. It improves your balance, focus, and concentration. It also stretches your shoulders, upper back, IT band, and outer hips and strengthens your core, inner thighs, and muscles of your standing leg.

But Eagle Pose can be intense, to say the least, and it’s about as pretzel-y as many of us aspire to become in our yoga practice—particularly those of us who are challenged by balancing or tightness in the shoulders and hips.

As with any pose, there are many ways to approach it so that you can find a variation that works for your individual needs in any given moment.

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