How to do Garudasana / Eagle pose: Caution, Tips & Benefits
Yoga has been practiced n India from the ancient times. It helps in making your body healthy and your mind and soul pure. Practicing yoga is an excellent way to protect your body from various diseases as well as negative thoughts. Yoga includes exercises as well as breathing exercises, warm ups and meditation. You also need to follow a healthy diet including all the essential nutrients to get maximum benefit out of yoga. Years of practice, especially meditation, is needed to master the art of yoga. Yoga helps you to relax and get peace of mind. If you are beginner, there is a set of asanas fit for beginners. These asanas are simple to do. Then gradually you can go on to the next levels and start practicing difficult and complicated yoga poses.
Garudasana or Eagle pose is not meant for the beginners. You need lots of practice and have to take much effort to become adept in doing Garudasana. If you are new to yoga asana, a person who has been practicing yoga regularly for many years can help you learn Garudasana. The word ‘Garudasana’ is derived from Sanskrit word. ‘Garuda’ means ‘eagle’ and ‘asana’ means pose. So, this yoga asana is also called eagle pose. Since “garuda’ is regarded as the king of birds in Hindu mythology, this pose is also known as the ‘king of the birds pose’.
Steps to do Eagle Pose:
- Put a yoga mat on the floor and stand on the mat in a straight position, looking right in front of you. You can also stand in Tadasana position and stretch your body.
- Next you have to breathe and bend your knees a little.
- In the next step you have to lift your left leg a little and then wrap it around your right leg. To do this, cross your left thigh over your right thigh and point your toes towards the floor. Hook the top of your left foot behind your lower right calf. You must keep both of your knees in a bent position.
- After wrapping your left leg on your right leg, try to balance your body on your right foot.
- Now you have to bring your hands in front of your face and do the same with your hands also. Bend your hands and then wrap your left hand around your right hand.
- After you wrap your hands, you must keep them in such a way that both your palms touch each other. The crown of your head must be pointed towards the ceiling and your eyes must be looking straight ahead. You must also keep your spine straight.
- Remain in this pose for about 8 to 10 seconds. Then you can release your body from this pose.
- Repeat this activity about 5 to 10 times daily.
One thing to keep in mind when you do this asana is that you must be comfortable when you do it. When you stretch your body to take the pose, do it only within your limits. Do not stretch it beyond your capacity. If you have any serious problems while practicing this yoga asana, consult your doctor or a qualified and experienced yoga teacher. They can help you solve the problem and do the pose properly. When you do this asana, your body takes the pose of an eagle.
In the beginning you may have some difficulty in doing this asana perfectly. But with practice you will be able to perform this asana well. Always practice it under a qualified yoga teacher in the beginning, till you learn how to do it properly. Then you can practice it on your own and even teach others.
In the beginning you may find it hard to hook the left foot on the right calf. So, instead of hooking the left foot, you can press the toe of your left foot against the floor to maintain the balance of the body, till you learn to balance on one foot.
Caution or Contraindications to Garudasana:
You must not do Garudasana if you are suffering from any injuries of the knee or if you have joint pain. Obesity is also a reason not to practice this asana. If you are pregnant, you must not do this asana. However, you can do Tadasana under such conditions. People suffering from low or high pressure and having frequent headaches are also advised not to try doing Garudasana. If you are faced with any difficulty when you do garudasana, you can take the advice of your yoga teacher.
Benefits of doing Garudasana:
Yoga asanas always provide you lots of benefits. To get the full benefits of any yoga asana, you need to practice it for at least one year. The benefits that you get from it last long and help to rejuvenate your body and mind. Garudasana also has a number of benefits. Some of them are:
Garudasana helps providing a good stretch to your hips, thighs, shoulders and back. It also helps in making your legs and hands stronger. By practicing this asana your thighs, calf muscles, shoulders and arms get a good massage. Practicing this yoga asana regularly helps you to learn balancing of the body. You can also increase your concentration power by doing this asana. So students can do well in studies by practicing garudasana regularly. When you practice Garudasana, your blood vessels get stretched. As a result, your blood vessels are strengthened and there is an increase in the circulation of blood though the body. You can prevent knee pain and joint pain by doing this asana regularly.
So, practice this yoga asana regularly and you can keep many of the body pains away. Twisting exercises are said to be good for the body as they provide a good massage to the body and keep the body well toned and in good condition. It also increases the flexibility of the body.