Garudasana or Eagle Pose

Garudasana or Eagle Pose

Garudasana or Eagle Pose

What's up, everyone? Today we're gonna learn Garudasana or eagle pose. This is a request I get a lot and it's a great one because, especially for a beginner, this pose can look like a pretzel yoga pose that you just don't even want to mess with. But it's really fun and it has a lot of therapeutic benefits. You're probably going to come across it in a Hatha yoga class. 

So it's a really fun one to learn, and if you like the eagle-like I do, then it always feels good to practice. All right, let's hop on the mat and learn Garudasana. So we're going to begin standing today, and feet two brick apart. Just need a second to bend the knees generously, send the hip bones way, way back. We're just going to do a little squat here, sending the fingertips forward, spreading awareness through all four corners of the feet, just kind of gearing up so we're not going to Eagle pose just yet. And this is an attractive pose to demonstrate. 

No. I'm just going to take a second here to just bring awareness to the weight distribution in my feet, to send my sit bones back, fingertips forward. The legs get a little wake-up call, a little charge. And then last but not least, I'm going to bring awareness to my belly and my ribcage, just kind of drawing energy in as I send the fingertips out. So this is actually a great workout here, a little squat. Take a deep breath in, maybe your sink a little lower, lift your toes, spread awareness through all four corners of the feet, and then on an exhale, tuck the pelvis, should feel good, and release the fingertips down. 

Awesome. Now we're going to bring the feet together, maybe keeping just a little bit of space, like almost a thumbprint's worth of space, between the heels. Once again, bend the knees generously. We're gonna come to an Utkatasana, setting the sit bones back, fingertips forward. We actually have a Foundations of Yoga for Utkatasana, on chair pose, but we're just kind of checking in with the legs, and once again, lifting the toes, connecting to the foundation here, which is the soles of the feet, right? Drawing energy up from there. Take a deep breath in. Maybe sink a little lower. Inhale in, and exhale. It should feel awesome to press into the earth. 

Tuck your pelvis and find that lift up through the heart, and the crown of the head. Great. We take just a pause here in Mountain and then we're going to send the fingertips forward and explore Garudasana. So right away, again, foundations of yoga, we're really breaking it down here. I'm going to reach the fingertips forward. In fact, I'll turn again, profile, so you can see this in my shoulder blades. I'm going to reach, reach, reach forward, spreading my shoulder blades left to right, reach, reach, reach. Then I'm going to loop my shoulders and plug them in. Keep reaching energy forward through the fingertips, the shoulders, and kind of plugging the shoulder blades in and together and down. 

So again, you can see this. I'm going from reaching here, to looping the shoulders, finding this lift through the sternum, and a bit of poise comes to my shape, and it feels good, feels active. Looping the shoulders down, finding that lift in the heart. Stay here. Take a deep breath in, long breath out. And we're going to find a soft bend in the knees. So you don't have to go into a big, generous bend, just a soft bend here. And again, we remember that squat as we really spread awareness through the soles of the feet. Now we're gonna drop the right arm underneath the left, and then we swing the fingertips up to the kind of coming into this Kiai pose, so the elbows are hooked here. 

We kind of come into this ninja posture here. And I remember to sink my hips a little bit. Great. So from here, stay at this V. I'm going to peel my right toes up, cross my right toes over my left leg here, and then I can stay here, and the reason I stay here is not just to be cute and fun in this ninja pose, but to really gauge my hips and shoulders. So right toes touching the earth, I'm going to pull my right hip down. Fingertips are pointing up towards the sky. I'm going to pull my right shoulder down. So there's a tendency to kind of do this. 

I'm really low on my eagle. I'm all twisted up. But given that this is Foundations of Yoga, we're really going to consider our foundation and then you're going to really be able to soar in this Garudasana, with practice. I go from my Kiai V here. I cross my right toes. Again, pull the right hip crease down, and pull the right shoulder down. Nice. And if you're new to the shape, this could be where you kind of stop today and go, "All right, I'm really going to work with integrity, pulling that right hip crease down, keeping an awareness to the sole of my left foot, and then pulling that right shoulder down, lifting up through the sternum," okay? To go a little deeper, we might continue the wrap of the arms around. Palms come together but not at the sacrifice of these shoulders being kind of inline, in alignment. 

So keep that right shoulder down and then maybe l lift my right toes up and maybe, just gonna fix my mic here, maybe I wrap my right toes all around, but again, not at the cost of this hip rocking forward. So I'm going to imagine an imaginary thumb pulling my right hip crease down. So again, I may just stay here with the right toes on the ground, and this kind of awesome Kiai V so that I can practice leveling the shoulders and leveling the hips, and still really connected to my standing leg in a nice, really strong, just integrated way. So what I'm getting at is we're not kind of getting into the pose and then holding on for dear life. 

We're getting into the pose in a way where we're fulling integrated. All those intrinsic muscles are going along for the ride. I'm connected with my breath. And yeah, from there, Eagle pose, you can really soar high, fly high with the breath. So if we can wrap the palms and we can wrap those toes, then we're just going to keep a constant awareness of the hips and shoulders. Wherever you are, we're all going to bring our awareness now back to the breath, and then pay attention to what's going on in the pelvis. So there might be a tendency, although this is an awesome kind of full variation of Eagle, we're going to keep it nice and stacked today. 

So just notice what's going on in the pelvis and lengthen the tailbone down and find that lift up through the heart again, the sternum. Now focus your gaze just past your nose here,  finding a soft gaze, or we call this focus Drishti in Sanskrit, down past the nose. So the heart is lifting up, the shoulders are grounding down, the fingertips might reach up, and the elbows, nice integrated moment here, so we're not just reaching forward, but we're finding the balance between this lift and lengthen and this grounding down. Take one more breath wherever you are. 

You might challenge yourself by sinking in a little deeper. If you are further along in the practice, you know there are variations of Garudasana, Eagle, Sleeping Eagle, that you can play with. But wherever you are, let's take one more full breath, and then we'll release. Unravel the arms. Unravel the legs. Press into both feet evenly. And let's inhale. Reach the fingertips up towards the sky, full-body stretch, and then exhale, let it go, back to the mountain. And let's try the same thing on the other side. So we spread awareness through the feet, and we're going to bend the knees generously again, just kind of softly coming into a bend. 

So there is this thing of kind of rushing. It's the same thing when we look at the foundations of tree pose. If you just dump the weight into your right foot, kind of into your right hip, and then build the pose from there, you're really putting a lot of undue pressure on the joints, a and b. It's going to be harder to be this buoyant, free, beautiful, find your energy, your prana, your kundalini vibes, or whatever in your posture, if you're not connected. So really slow it down and let's play here with the process, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. Bend the knees. We find this comfortable seat here. It's not comfortable. And we find a little seat and we find a place of ease here, I should say. And we reach the fingertips forward once again. 

Take a deep breath in, long breath out as you ground down through the shoulders, and remember that reach and pull. See if you can find that movement as we plug the shoulders in and lift the heart up. This time we'll draw the left fingertips down, so left arm comes underneath the right and once again, we hook the elbows and lift up. Okay, this is going to be a little different for everyone, right? just find what feels good here. And we're going to start paying attention to the shoulders. So left arm underneath, and this time we keep this energetic lift up through the center channel as we peel up through the left foot. We squeeze the left knee up and we cross it over, so we're here, and here. Left toes touch the earth, and we now bring our awareness to those hips creases again.

 So you might imagine again pulling that left hip crease down. We might sink a little deeper, lengthening the tailbone down towards the earth, and we're here, playing with the shoulders. So again, if you're starting to torque, this is really not the Eagle we're looking for, kind of holding on for a wing and prayer, Eagle wing and a prayer. So you might just stay here, leveling the hips and leveling the shoulders. If you feel like you can play with that, even wrestle with it is good, while still bringing the palms around, even if they don't touch, you can still play with continuing this twist around, you might do that. And the same thing with the toes, but we're just going to play here, finding the breath and finding a softness, paying attention to the hips, head over heart, heart over pelvis here as we lift the fingertips up maybe on this variation. 

We breathe into the belly, stretching and strengthening the lower body as we lift the heart up, Garudasana, Eagle pose. We inhale, lift the fingertips up, exhale, ground down. Maybe your sink a little bit deeper into that standing leg. If you want to take a variation here now, if you're like, "I did it all on one side. I'm gonna try it on the other," maybe you go ahead and practice a little, playtime here. But otherwise, work on your breath. And if you have to come out of it and in and out of it, this is the time to play, so rock on. So the thing about Eagle is we kind of just... I speak from my own experience. We kind of just wrap into a tight... trying to master the shape rather than build the process and the experience. And the more you kind of focus on the process, the richer the experience is going to be, especially when you're in public class and this comes up. 

So wherever you are, take one more deep breath in and then we'll use the exhale to unravel the arms and the legs, press into both feet firmly, and again, we'll reach up nice and tall, maybe slight backbend this time if it feels right, and then we'll exhale back to mountain pose. Awesome. Just notice how you feel. Notice the differences between the right leg and the left leg. Shake it off if you need to here. Shake it off. We take a second to close the eyes.  Maybe draw your attention inward. Notice your breath. Open the palms. Life is good.

 We take a deep breath in, and exhale, let it go. All right, awesome work, my friends. So that was Eagle pose. If you're craving more foundations of yoga,  If you have some time, that will go good with your Eagle pose. You might try Tree pose. You might try Recline Twist. And I think that actually, Wind Relieving pose would be a fun thing to end with. If you have any suggestions please write to us they are very valuable for us to see you soon Namaste.


Understudies with knee, wounds ought to stay away from this posture or perform just the leg position depicted in the Beginner's Tip underneath.

Beginner's Tip:

Novices frequently think that it's hard to fold the arms over until the palms contact. Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, while clutching the parts of the bargains. Adhere to the remainder of the guidelines expressed in stage 2 above and keep the lash rigid between your hands. Beginners additionally think that it's hard to snare the raised-leg foot behind the standing-leg calf, and a short time later equalization on the standing foot. As a transient alternative fold, the legs be that as it may, rather than snaring the raised foot and calf, press the huge toe of the raised-leg foot against the floor to help keep up your parity.


  • Fortifies and extends the lower legs and calves.

  • Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back.

  • Improves focus.

  • It improves the feeling of parity.


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