The eagle is a god in Indian mythology, and so is considered sacred and important. As with the tree pose, garudasana (pronounced gah-roo-DAH-sah-nah) improves balance and concentration as well as develops the ankles and removes stiffness in the shoulders. Symbolically, the eagle represents the life force/prana.
1. Begin in tadasana, but with the knees slightly bent.
2. Bend one leg over the other like you are crossing your thighs, then hook your ankle around the back of your other ankle. Try to stay balanced between your heel and toe.
3. Bend your elbows and bring one arm under the other arm, connecting your palms in front of your face. Even though your body is twisting every which way, imagine your torso lifting and straightening. Breathe!
4. Return to tadasana, and repeat on the other side. This pose is usually easier going one way than it is going the other way, but try it both ways and eventually you'll balance.
5. Getting Started: The eagle pose is a challenging pose. Don't force that ankle around your standing leg, or you could injure your knee! If your ankle doesn't hook around your standing leg easily, just place the top of your foot behind the ankle or calf of your standing leg. Eventually your flexibility will increase. Better to work within your own limits than to injure yourself!
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