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Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Eagle pose

Garudasana (गरुडासन) is so called because in the final pose it resembles the shape of an eagle, the hands representing the beak of the eagle. In Indian mythology, Garuda was the vehicle that carried Lord Vishnu through the celestial realms.


(click on the blue arrow for audio instructions)

  1. Start in the standing position with feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Bend the knees and lift your left foot up and, balancing on the right foot, cross your left thigh over the right thigh. Press the left foot backwards and try to hook the top of the foot behind the lower part of the right calf. Maintain balance on the right leg.
  3. Stretch the arms straight ahead, horizontal. Cross the arms in front so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Twist the forearms around each other with the right elbow on top. Start with the backs of your hands facing each other.
  4. Now make an effort to bring the palms facing each other and press them together (as much as is possible for you). Lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.
  5. If you have difficulty maintaining balance in the final position, you may like to support your back lightly against a wall.
  6. In the final position, you may try to bend the knees even further.
  7. Stay in this position for 6-8 breaths (longer if comfortable), then unwind the legs and arms and come back to the standing pose.
  8. Repeat the above on the other side..


In addition to all the benefits associated with one-leg standing balancing poses, Garudasana offers these additional benefits:

  • Eagle Pose strengthens the muscles of the legs, tones the nerves and loosens the joints
  • Stretches the thighs, ankles, shoulders, elbows, calves and the upper back
  • Alleviate sciatica and rheumatism in the legs and arms
  • Develops poise and grace in the body


People with knee injury/pain or injury of elbows and shoulders should avoid this pose.

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