How to Do the Eagle Pose

You won't actually be able to fly in this pose, but you will improve your balance, strengthen your legs, and stretch your hips and shoulders.

Instructions

  • : If you have weak or fragile knees, or a compromised sense of balance, try this pose near a wall at first in case you need support.
  • Step 1: Mountain Pose Stand at the front of your mat with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed between them, your spine erect, and your arms at your sides.
  • Step 2: Align elbows Lift your arms in front of you with your right elbow underneath your left elbow. Bring the backs of your hands toward each other.
  • TIP: If this feels like as far as your shoulders can go, leave your arms in this position.
  • Step 3: Position hands If you can, move your hands past each other so that your palms are facing each other and your arms are double wrapped like vines.
  • Step 4: Align knees Now raise your right leg, drape your right knee over your left knee, and balance on your left leg.
  • Step 5: Wrap right foot If you can, slowly wrap your right foot behind your left calf to increase the stretch in your hips. If this causes stress in your knees, return to the previous posture.
  • Step 6: Bend knee Bend your left knee a little more so you are positioned as if sitting in a chair with your legs crossed.
  • TIP: It may help your balance to gaze at one stationary point in front of you.
  • Step 7: Hold pose Hold this pose for several breaths, focusing on your balance, and on keeping your spine upright and aligned.
  • Step 8: Release & repeat Release the pose and repeat the steps on the opposite side, with your left elbow under your right while balanced on your right leg.
  • Step 9: Hold & release Hold this pose for the same number of breaths as you did on the other side, and release. Cross yourself off the endangered species list.
  • FACT: In Hindu lore, the "Garuda" is a golden creature with the body of a human but the wings and face of an eagle, ridden by Lord Vishnu.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket

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