Yoga Pose of the Week: Garudasana / Eagle Pose

Yoga Pose of the Week: Garudasana / Eagle Pose


13 January 2016


Eagle pose, also known in sanskrit as Garudasana, gets its name from the movement of the arms in this pose. You start off by using a sweeping motion, extending the arms outwards as though stretching your wings. This pose will make you feel like the king of the birds once executed correctly, as it can be difficult at the start.

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Sanskrit Name: Garudasana

Garuda: Eagle
Asana: Posture

How to do:

This pose requires extremely controlled balance, so it can cause teething problems for beginners. There are ways in which the move can be modified to make it a little easier to digest.

Start Slow

The eagle pose is usually positioned towards the end of the standing pose sequence. You’ll need to be suitably warmed up both physically and mentally. Due to its complexity, this move will strengthen your concentration and requires discipline.

When first attempting this pose, you may find yourself tensing some muscles unnecessarily. You might use too much force to create the twist. Try not to do this and remember yoga should be a natural process. It shouldn’t cause you any stress, so take it easy.

If you can’t get to grips with this move on your own, you can use props and modifications to start with. Balance can be one of the main problem areas, so use a wall to support your back. The straight line of the wall will enable you to focus on the twists and turns while feeling secure. As your ability grows, your balance should become better, and the wall will no longer be needed.

Once you’ve mastered this pose, it’s possible to take it to the next level. You can do this by completing a forward bend while pressing your forearms down against the top thigh. Only do this when you feel comfortable in the original pose.


The eagle pose can be a saving grace for people who suffer from low backache or even a more serious condition such as sciatica. It opens up the lungs at the back, which gives more capacity for breath and can be helpful for people who have asthma.


The eagle pose isn’t easy and can put pressure on your knees. Don’t attempt it if you’ve had an injury or suffer from any other knee problems. It may cause further injuries down the line. As this pose relies heavily on focus and balance, people with low blood pressure, headaches or inner ear conditions should do the pose against a wall.