Garudasana (Eagle Pose) steps, precautions and benefits


According to Hindu mythology, ‘Garuda’ is recognized as the ‘King of birds’ and is represented as the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Garuda is described as having a white face, curved beak, red wings and golden body. Garudasana is a standing + balancing posture and requires one have strong ankles and flexible shoulders. It falls into the category of intermediate yoga poses and is not recommended to be practiced by yoga beginners. In this pose, the weight of the entire body is balanced on only one leg. The area of the body that it targets are ankles, calves, thighs, hips, knees and shoulders. Practicing this pose have calming effects on mind and body.

The Sanskrit name Garudasana is a combination of two words whose meaning has inspired its English name

Garuda = Eagle

Asana = Posture

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) steps, precautions and benefits

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Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Steps

Starting Position: Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  1. Slightly bend your knees, lift your left leg balancing the body on the right leg. Place the left thigh over the right thigh.
  2. Wrap the shin of your left leg around the calf of the right leg. Hook the top of the left foot in the lower right calf. Balance the body on right leg.
  3. Raise the arms in front and parallel to the floor, palms facing upward direction. Next, cross your arms placing the right arm above the left arm.
  4. Bend the elbows making the forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap the left forearm around and under the right forearm. Rest your left hand’s fingers firmly on your right palm. Keep the spine erect.
  5. Focus your gaze at a fixed point at a distance of 4-5 feet away. This is the final position. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds taking deep breaths.
  6. To return, gently release the arms first and then the legs to come back in starting position. Take 3 deep and long breaths, practice from the other side by interchanging the position of legs and arms.

Practice 2-3 times with each side.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Precautions

Beginners will find it hard to maintain balance initially, focusing the gaze at a fixed point is helpful in maintaining the balance. Follow the steps slowly to achieve the balance. You can also try the pose by following the instructions for arms first, followed by those of legs. If you choose to do so follow the steps in this manner after standing in Tadasana: 3, 4, 1, 2, 5 and 6. You may find this method more easy to maintain the balance. Once you have learned to balance well, practice the steps as mentioned above. After getting well in the pose you may keep the eyes closed for better concentration.

  • Avoid practicing Garudasana in case you have had a recent knee, ankle or shoulder injury.
  • Eagle pose should not be attempted if you suffer from any of these conditions: Obesity, frequent headaches, high or low blood pressure or asthma.
  • Pregnant women must avoid practicing Eagle Pose as well.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) Benefits

  • Strengthens ankles and increase flexibility in shoulder joints.
  • Improves concentration for meditative practices.
  • Develops a sense of balance and coordination.
  • Helpful in getting rid of urinary problems.
  • Beneficial for the male reproductive organs.
  • Prevents cramps in the calf muscles.
  • Beneficial in sciatica and rheumatism in leg joints.
  • Regulates the functioning of kidney and cures prostate problems.
  • Stretches calves, shoulders, upper back, hips and thighs.

Stay healthy stay strong and get the best out of life.

Recommended articles:

  1. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose): steps, cautions & benefits
  2. Matsyasana (Fish Pose) l Benefits of Matsyasana
  3. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) steps, precautions & benefits

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