Yoga Pose Of The Week: Eagle Arms Pose

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Trudy Vains

Yoga Expert

Nov 21, 2023

AKA – Garudasana

Eagle Arms Pose is only half of Eagle Pose and it gives you such a great stretch across shoulders, arms, and neck.  The full posture – Eagle Pose – requires you to stand on one leg and balance, whilst focusing on your arms as well, but why start with the hard stuff?

Although a simple yoga pose, Eagle Arms mostly focuses on opening the shoulders and waking up the upper back muscles. You can practice this pose anywhere, anytime, and it will make you feel much better – as though the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders.

This pose is commonly used in a yoga class in a warm up routine, or even at the end of a sequence, to enhance all of the upper body moves. It’s a great preparatory pose for more advanced asanas as well.

Eagle Arms

Benefits of Eagle Arms:

  • Improves balance and focus.
  • Aides in postural and body awareness.
  • Fantastic stretch for shoulders and upper back.
  • Strengthens core.
  • Makes you focus on your breath.
  • This pose opens the back of the chest, and rib cage, while contracting the front of the chest.

How to get there:

  • Take a seat, you could choose from sitting with legs crossed, sit on a chair, or even kneel, whatever your body says is OK.
  • Core engaged – draw belly button to spine.
  • Spine straight.
  • Spread your arms out to the sides.
  • Circle arms up, hands meet above your head.
  • Bring your arms down in front of you, elbows touch and hands as well.
  • Take left arm under right arm, joining them at the elbows.
  • See if you can bring palms in to touch, or just hold onto right thumb.
  • With a deep breath in, lift hands and elbows up.
  • With a deep breath out, allow your arms to move forward. (it’s a movement of the arms, not the hips).
  • Maintain a straight spine, and breath into those areas that you are noticing.
  • Long breaths here, as you hold the pose for about 15 seconds.

To come out of the Eagle Arms pose:

  • Deep breath in, bring your arms in towards you.
  • Exhale, release hands and circle arms.

Take some nice long breaths before repeating on the other side. 


If you’re unable to cross arms, or hold opposite thumb, try this instead:

Give yourself a big hug, while holding onto opposite shoulders, lift elbows and press them forward.

This will give a good stretch in almost the same places.


Pre-existing injury to wrists, elbows or shoulders.  If your lower back becomes sore, sit on a chair rather than the floor.

Enjoy this Eagle Arms pose!

Always be kind to yourself, move with ease and grace.  You are the most important person in your life.


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By Trudy Vains

Yoga Expert

Trudy Vains is an Author, Yoga Teacher, and APP creator. Trudy’s book, 'Fused,' provides inspiration and a positive mindset in overcoming challenges. Trudy’s APP - 'Back Happy Yoga,' provides classes for mobility issues, back aches and pains, and stretches you can do at your desk.



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