Over the past two weeks we have been looking at this pose in two sections. We started with the top part of the body with ‘Eagle Arms’ and then the lower half of the body with ‘Eagle Legs’. This is because this pose can be difficult to manoeuvre if attempting the full pose straight away.
Eagle Pose has it all — standing balance, strength, and flexibility. It will have you twisted like a pretzel, holding balance, whilst trying not to wobble or fall, all at the same time.
You’ll notice that the magic happens when you release and unwind, because it’s not just your body, it’s your mind and spirit which unwind as well.
A huge beneficial factor of this pose is your gaze, otherwise known as Drishti Point. When we have focus on, something to stare at, we can maintain more stability, courage and strength.
- Stretches hips deeply.
- Promotes deep breathing.
- Increases focus and balance.
- Helps open the shoulders.
How to get there:
- Start in Tadasana Pose – see here previously on The Carousel.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart.
Bend your knees into Chair Pose – see here previously on The Carousel.
- Hands on hips, bend your knees and sink your bottom.
Proceed into Eagle Legs – see here previously on The Carousel.
- Bring the weight into your left foot and look forward to a focus on something – Drishti point.
- Keep your hands on your hips.
- Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh as high up as you can.
- Squeeze your thighs together.
- Hook the top of your right foot behind your left calf.
- Keep your spine straight.
Then bring in Eagle Arms – see here previously on The Carousel.
- Bring hands together in front, elbows touch 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).
Hold for one minute.
Gently unwind your arms and legs and return to Tadasana – see here previously on The Carousel.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Pre-existing ankle, knee or lower back, or shoulder injury.
Variations for arms:
- 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.
Variations for legs:
- Cross one foot over the other, have the crossed over foot either flat or ball of foot on the floor.
- Hold onto a chair for stability.
- Press your bottom against a wall for stability, refining the pose.
Enjoy practicing Eagle Pose. If you’re wobbly with your balance, that’s OK – have a giggle!
Always be kind to yourself, move with ease and grace. You are the most important person in your life.
For more from The Carousel on yoga, visit here.