Eagle Pose

Garudasana (Eagle pose)

The name comes from the Sanskrit words ‘garuda’ = ‘eagle’ and ‘asana’ = ‘ ‘posture’. Garuda is known as the king of the birds. This standing pose is also referred under the category of balancing poses and works to strengthen the legs.

Eagle Pose is considered a base pose as eagle pose variations can be derived from this pose.Eagle Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
From Mountain pose, bend your knees and come into Chair pose.
Step 2
Bring the weight into your left foot and gaze at a fixed point ahead of you – this is your Drishti.
Step 3
With your arms out to the sides for balance, lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh as high up as you can. Squeeze your thighs together.
Step 4
Hook the top of your right foot behind your left calf.
Step 5
Exhale and take your right arm underneath your left, bend the elbows pointing your fingers to the sky.
Step 6
Bring the backs of the hands towards each other together.
Step 7
Take hold of your left thumb with your right hand if you can, or press the backs of your hands together.
Step 8
Slightly lift your elbows.
Step 9
Keep the base of the neck and your face and jaw relaxed.
Step 10
Hold for 5 breaths.
Step 11
To come out of the pose, uncross your arms and legs and come back to Mountain pose.
Step 12
Repeat on the other side.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Strengthens and stretches the ankles and calves

Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back

Improves concentration

Improves sense of balance

Contraindications

Avoid getting into this pose if you have any knee, elbow, ankle and wrist injury.

Not for women in later term pregnancy.

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

There’s a lot going on in Eagle pose with the position of the arms and legs to think about all while you’re balancing on one leg. But you can break it down into separate elements to practice in isolation at first. For example,

Learn the position of your arms while sitting at your desk (it’s a great stretch for your upper back while you’re working).
Practice the wrapping of your legs while lying on your back or leaning against a wall for support.
Build confidence in your balance by practicing Chair pose and lifting one foot slightly off the floor.
Whether you’re a beginner or not it can be challenging to hook your foot behind your calf in Eagle pose.

Instead you can just cross your leg over and point your foot to the floor – or rest it on the floor or a block for extra help with your balance. Keep squeezing your thighs together.

Modifications & Variations
  • Eagle Pose Chair
  • Seated With Eagle Arms On Chair
  • Eagle Pose Squat
  • Eagle Arms Strap Close Up
  • Eagle Arms Close Up
  • Eagle Pose Foot On Block
  • Seated With Eagle Legs Pose Chair Variation
  • Eagle Pose Variation 1
  • Inverted Eagle Pose
  • Half Eagle Pose
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Tree Pose
  • Mountain Pose
  • Chair Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Mountain Pose
  • Eagle Pose Variation 1
  • Warrior Pose III

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.