GarudasanaGarudasana, the mythic ‘King of the birds’ is usually translated to English as Eagle, though literally translated means Devourer! 

This asana helps to build strength, flexibility, endurance, and unwavering focus (not too much to think about then). We chose this posture for July on purpose; On the brink of the second half of the year the power of Garuda will help you soar out of the stagnation of winter and toward the sun in all your glory!

Practice Garudasana, Eagle Pose

Warm up with a few rounds of Sun Salutations A & B. Utkatasana, Chair Pose will be your best friend here. Also, focus on keeping the back body broad as you move through Chaturanga and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward facing dog).

Stand firmly in Tadasana paying extra attention to the sensation of the ground beneath your feet. Widen your peripheral vision.

On an inhale, raise your arms to shoulder level.

Exhale, cross your arms left arm over your right so that they are stacked with the left elbow on top.

Bend your elbows so that the backs of the forearms are parallel, with the backs of the hands facing one another. Wrap your forearms around each other until your palms touch. Keep your wrists in line with your forearms and lengthen your fingers. (If you cannot join your palms without distorting your wrists, keep your hands parallel with the backs facing each other). Press your forearms in opposite directions. Notice the stretch across your “wings” (shoulder blades).

Bend your knees, like in Utkatasana, and shift your weight to your left foot.

Cross your right leg over your left thigh above the knee, and wrap your right foot behind your left calf.

On the top half of your body, left wraps over right. On the bottom, right wraps over left. Balance. Breathe. Imagine that you’re an eagle poised in the sky, still to all outward appearances, but intensely active and present inwardly.

Lean slightly forward from your hip crease, but lift your chest, broad and open through the front and the back body. Continue to press your forearms in opposite directions, widening through your shoulder blades.

Pay attention to the qualities of softness or hardness in your breath, your body, and your eyes. Can you be soft and focused at the same time? Can you keep your muscles active and your breath soft? Experiment with breathing into the back of your lower lungs, expanding the ribs like wings on the inhalation. Breathe like a gliding bird.

Stay for 5-10 breaths.

Unhook your legs and arms and come back to Tadasana. Repeat on the second side crossing right arm over left, and left leg over right.

Soar and Fly with Garudasana this July!