fun pose friday: garudasana

Happy Friday yogis! This week’s edition of Fun Pose Friday we’re featuring Garudasana or Eagle Pose.

According to Yoga Journal: This pose is like a climbing vine that wraps around itself, but we rise to the challenge in it, like an eagle.

Garuda, translated as “eagle,” is a mythical bird in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Like the Garuda who “rides the wind,” in Garudasana we strive to “ride the wind,” and find ease in what can be a very tricky and/or uncomfortable pose.


Benefits of this pose:

• Improved balance

• Improved focus and concentration

• Stronger, more stable legs, ankles, arms and hips

• Increased flexibility in the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back

Another Yoga Journal post, mentions that Garudasana can be especially helpful for those who suffer from asthma, lower backaches or sciatica.

Check out how to get into Garudasana:

Stand in Tadasana (or mountain pose). Bend the knees, lift one foot and find your balance on the other foot.  Cross the lifted leg over the standing leg. Point the toes and wrap the calf of the lifted foot around the standing leg. Try to get the toes of the lifted foot wrapped around standing leg’s calf.

If you can’t wrap the toes around the calf of the standing leg- no problem!  Just cross the leg over the the standing leg’s knee or you can also cross the leg over and have the toe touch the ground.

Stretch the arms forward and cross them in front of the torso so that one arm is above the other, and then bend the elbows (usually if your right leg is crossed over your left leg, then your right arm would be crossed UNDER your left arm).

Palms should be facing each other and touching. Squeeze the palms together, lift the forearms up so that the elbows are in line with the shoulders, and stretch fingers toward the sky.

Can’t seem to get your palms to touch– that’s OK!  You can modify by: having the backs of the hands touch or cross the arms and place palms on opposite shoulders.

Bend the knee of the standing leg slightly and push the booty back just like we do in chair, Utkatasana. Squeeze the legs together to help stabilize balance.

Find a drishti; a focus point, and breathe evenly.  Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then unwind and return to Tadasana. Repeat for the same length of time on the other side, with arm and leg positioning reversed.

For anyone who finds the pose a challenge to balance in, try placing one hand on a wall for support and explore other modifications (mentioned above) for crossing the arms and legs.

Enjoy riding the wind in Garudasana yogis!  Have great weekend!