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Garudasana (eagle pose)

 


Garud - Eagle

Garudasana is the advanced stage of Sankatasana. In some pictorial depictions where Garud is shown in human form, its form resembles that of the asana.

 

Taking the asana position

 

1. Shifting the weight of the body onto the right leg and bending it slightly, lift the left leg up by bending it slightly at the knee. The body is now balanced entirely on the right leg.
2. Cross the left leg over the right leg and hook the top of the left foot behind the right calf. The toes of the left leg should be showing from the left side of the right lower leg. The right leg remains slightly bent at the knee.
3. Bend both arms at the elbows and raise them to chest level. Place the right upper arm over the left upper arm, and continue to entwine the two arms. Touch both hands together in a namaskar pose.

 

The asana position

 

In this position, the left leg is effectively entwined around the right leg, as in Sankatasana. The upper body should be kept straight. The arms are also entwined around each other.

Gaze forward at a fixed point to maintain balance.


 

Releasing the asana position

 

1. Release the arms and return them to the side of the body.
2. Release the left leg.
3. Place the left foot back onto the ground and come back to standing position. Practice on the other side.

 

Anatomical focus

 

On the stretch on the joints of the left leg, as well as the shoulders.

Awareness

On maintaining balance while focusing on a fixed point.

 

Do's

 

1. Keep the upper body straight.
2. Gaze at a fixed point in front to keep balance.

 

Dont's

 

1. Lose balance.
2. Lift any part of the right sole off the ground.

 

Benefits

 

1. Strengthens the leg muscles.
2. Increases the blood supply to and loosens the joints in the legs and arms.

 

Therapeutic application

 

1. Sciatica
2. Rheumatism
3. Hydrocele

 

Precautions & contra-indications

 

1. People suffering from arthritis should only perform this asana under expert guidance.

 

Duration

 

At least 30 seconds on each side.

 

Variations & tips

 

Initially, it may be difficult to wrap one leg around the other fully. Bending the right leg more will allow the left leg to be more easily wrapped around it. It may also be difficult to join the hands together in namaskar pose. It is ok if the palms are not touching each other totally.

 

Preparatory poses

 

1. Sankatsana

Follow-up poses

 

 

Ancient texts

 

Gherand Samhita describes a certain asana as Garudasan. However, it is entirely different from the Garudasana as described above. The Garudasan in Gherandsamhita is not related to this asana. This asana as such is not described in any of the ancient texts. However, as per traditional Hatha Yoga, it is taught in this manner.