Eagle Pose - Garudasana

Eagle Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


Eagle Pose or Garudasana in Sanskrit (‘garuda’ = ‘eagle’ and ‘asana’ = ‘posture’) is a standing balancing pose that involves wrapping one leg around the other and crossing the arms in front of the body. Garuda is known as the king of the birds. Garudasana can help improve balance and coordination, stretch the shoulders and upper back, and tone the legs and glutes. It can also help calm the mind and improve focus.

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 different 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.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens and stretches the ankles and calves

Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back

Improves concentration

Improves sense of balance


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

Useful 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can beginners practice Garudasana?

Yes, beginners can practice Garudasana, but it’s important to start with the basics and focus on alignment and breath. If you have any injuries or limitations, make sure to consult with a qualified yoga teacher or healthcare professional before attempting the pose.

What muscles are engaged in Garudasana?

Garudasana engages several muscles including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles, deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, and the muscles of the rotator cuff.

How long should I hold Garudasana?

You can hold Garudasana for 5-10 breaths on each side, or longer if you feel comfortable. It’s important to listen to your body and avoid any discomfort or pain.

Can Garudasana be practiced during pregnancy?

It’s best to avoid Garudasana during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. If you’re pregnant, make sure to consult with your healthcare provider and a qualified yoga teacher for modifications or alternative poses.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in Garudasana?

Some common mistakes to avoid in Garudasana include: collapsing the chest or rounding the shoulders, hunching the back, leaning too far forward or back, holding the breath, or gripping the toes too tightly. It’s important to focus on maintaining a steady breath, keeping the spine long, and finding a comfortable balance in the pose.


  • Eagle Pose With Chair
  • Eagle Arms Strap Close Up
  • Eagle Pose Foot On Block
  • Inverted Eagle Pose
  • Extended Eagle Pose
  • Seated Eagle Pose

Top Preparatory Poses

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.