This asana is the vehicle of Vishnu – and is known as the devourer. In Vedic philosophy they believe Vishnu to be the all-pervading essence of all beings, the master of — and beyond —the past, present and future, one who supports, sustains and governs the universe and originates and develops all elements within.
The sanskrit name for this posture is garudasana. In the west this asana is known as the eagle pose. However the actual translation is Garuda – the king of the birds, associated with the all-consuming fire of the sun’s rays.
This is something that us Phuketians are quite familiar with at this time of year, when the sun is gloriously shining down on our amazing beaches and landscapes….ah paradise.
Another wonder of the world is free and open hips and this twisted posture will assist in doing just that.
The eagle pose has great therapeutic benefits for the lower back and the sciatica, other benefits include:
Strengthening and stretching the ankles and calves
Stretching the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back
Improving sense of balance
Some can find this posture a little challenging but if you break the postures down step by step as seen in the photos, you will find success.
Follow these steps and we will have you devouring any restrictions in the hips.
Standing upright, bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf (if you are unable to perform the second hook of the foot, make the first cross of the legs nice and strong – as seen in photo two). Balance on the right foot. (if you are feeling limited in your balance place the small of your back against a wall as seen in photo one).
Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your shoulder blades wide across the back of your torso. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other. (if you are finding that the leg balance along with the arm twist overwhelming, take your palm to the wall (photo one) or out to the side (photo two)
Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now, as best you can, press the palms together, lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling. (see photo three)
Hold the pose and breathe steadily for about 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite leg.
“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing.” Swami Satchidananda