April - Eagle Pose

Garuda - king of birds

Bernelle Du Bois | Photo credit: Jane Nurse

Bernelle Du Bois | Photo credit: Jane Nurse

FOCUS & INTENTION - Leg strength and flexibility, balance, bringing energy toward the midline of the body


  • Promotes shoulder, arm and upper back flexibility
  • Strengthens the muscles of your inner thighs, quadriceps and chest
  • Stretches the ankles

PRECAUTIONS - Don't force your ankles, arms or wrists into the wrapped position.

The Eagle articulates all the major joints of the body. Although challenging, the posture’s many benefits justify the discipline required to master it. Start by simply working with the arm position which braids the forearms like two strands of rope. If you cannot bring the palms together, grasp the wrist or thumb of the upper hand. Interlacing the fingers and wriggling the hands back and forth is one way to gradually join the palms. Circling the elbows with the arms in Eagle position offers a great arm or shoulder stretch. Work with the legs in a similar fashion. At first, simply cross the legs at the knees and don’t worry about wrapping the lifted leg around the calf of the standing leg. Explore wrapping the legs together when sitting in a chair at home or work. Gradually work to hook the big toe just above the ankle and just under the calf muscle.
— Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat by Richard Faulds and Senior Teachers of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health