Soar into Eagle Pose

In Sanskrit, Garuda means “Wings of speech”. This mythic bird is a symbol of Vishnu, the preserver of the universe. Its wings are made of all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and when it flies through the sky it is co-creating with the universe. Every one of us is a creative being filled with the writings of the cosmos in our cells. With this much creativity comes great responsibility with a bit of confusion and indecisiveness. Practicing Garudasana, our body and mind are syncing to help us cultivate more discernment so that we can use our creativity with clarity and purpose.

Directions

Standing in Tadasana bend the right knee and start to wrap the left leg over the right thigh, above the right knee. Let the back of the left thigh rest on the front of the right thigh.

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You can let the left toes rest on the ground or wrap the left foot behind the right calf so that the toes are off the ground.

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Arm variations

Cross the arms in front of the chest with the left arm under the right. The hands on opposite shoulders.

Lift your arms so that the elbows are in line with the shoulders. Cross the left arm under the right forming an “X” with your arms. Bend your elbows and point your fingers up towards the sky.

Have the backs of the hands touch or wrap the wrists so that the palms are touching.

Stay here for a total of 4-5 slow breaths.

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If you want to incorporate movement with the arms in the bind try this:

As you inhale, move from the shoulder blades and reach the arms up, fingertips moving up towards the sun. As you exhale draw the shoulder blades down the back, relaxing the shoulders away from the ears. Complete a total of 4-5 breath cycles.

Modifications

Practice the pose laying down on the mat with the “standing leg” pressed into a wall.

Cross the legs but not the arms. Place your hands on a wall to help you gain balance in the pose.

Go into the pose with your pelvis touching the wall.

Advanced Eagle

Sink deeper into the pose by bending the knees a little more. Bend from the waist so that the forearms are parallel to the ground. Focus on your drishti – a point 4 feet in front of your body. Breathe slowly for 4-5 breaths and then release from the pose. Repeat on the other side.

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Advanced Eagle with arms

Continue the three-breath cycle. As you inhale, reach the fingertips towards the horizon. Exhale, moving the elbows in towards the body.

On your last exhale, draw the elbows in and inhale to standing on your fourth inhale. Release the arms and legs. Shaking out what you need and prepare for eagle on the left side.

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Visualization

Using the spiral visualization, move your awareness through each of the 7 chakras. Visualize each of the chakra’s corresponding colors (found below) Inhale their color up to the crown of the head and exhale it back down to that chakra.

Example

While in the pose, visualize a red color at the base of the spine. As you inhale, sense two lines of energy spiraling up from the root chakra up to the crown chakra. On the exhalation sense these two lines spiraling back down to the root chakra.

 

Red – Root – Base of the spine
Orange – Sacral – Between the Base of the spine and the belly button
Yellow – Solar Plexus – Center of the abdomen
Green – Heart – At the heart center
Blue – Throat – At the throat center
Purple – Third Eye – Space in between the eyebrows
White – Crown – At the crown of the head
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Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Benefits

Activates all 5 elements in the body : Earth, fire, water, air and space

Balances Kapha and Vata Ayurveda doshas

Activates the first 6 chakras, particularly the first, second and sixth

Brings Prana and Apana prana vayus into balance and stimulates Samana Vayu

Balances the following systems of the body : Circulatory, Endocrine, Lymphatic, Muscular, Reproductive, Respiratory, Skeletal

 

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
― August Wilson

 

 

 

 

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