Garuda is the eagle deity in Indian mythology. He is the vehicle for Vishnu, the preserver, and a dharma protector who holds the power to move swiftly, anywhere. Garuda is considered the king of birds.
Garudasana is a balance pose. From tadasana, reach the arms out to the sides (like wings about to fly). Cross the left arm over the right at the elbows. Turn the palms to face each other.
Balancing the weight on the right leg, cross the left leg over the right, wrapping the foot around the right calf. To deepen the pose, slowly bend the knees bringing the elbows to the knees and the chin to the hands.
Breathe a few breaths.
Unwrap the legs, then the arms. Return to tadasana and do the opposite side.
- Strengthens and stretches the ankles and calves
- Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back
- Improves concentration
- Improves sense of balance
- Helps with core stabilization
- Students with hip replacements should not cross the legs. Balancing on one foot without crossing is enough.
Modification – 1
- If tight shoulders or limited range of motion in them, instead of wrapping arms, hug yourself, or place arms straight out front, parallel to floor while holding a strap between hands
Modification – 2
- Cross legs, but instead of hooking the raised foot, press
the big toe of the raised foot against the floor to help maintain balance
photo credit: Thor Polukoshko