The challenges with the practice of Garudasana (Eagle Pose ) are learning to balance well with one leg and to use the hips and shoulder muscles to the maximum. One may notice a difference, both in the flexibility and the strength of these muscles which leads to an imbalance in the posture. Hence, practicing yoga poses that help balance both sides of the body (right and left) become essential, and Eagle Pose (Garudasana) is one such yoga pose. Efforts to understand the body should be part of the yoga practice and the practice of Eagle Pose helps with the same.
In the given Eagle Pose Sequence, with the peak pose as Eagle Pose, the warming up of the hips and the hamstrings starts with supine poses. The yoga sequence then gradually moves to seated yoga poses where the spine is rooted firmly on the floor (testing the strength of the sacrum), and then towards dynamic flow with the practice of Sun Salutations (A, B & C). The practice of the peak pose is done in more than two rounds followed by the cooling and relaxing yoga poses.
The below Eagle Pose Sequence ends with Pawanmuktasana (Wind Release Pose) unlike the traditional use of relaxing yoga poses like Savasana (Corpse Pose).
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A. Inhale, and raise the right leg to hold the toe while taking it towards the left side in Reclined Big Toe Pose B.
B. Straighten the other leg out while holding the toe of the right foot.
C. Exhale completely extending the right leg while feeling the stretch at the right gluteus and left inner thighs.
D. Stay stretching as you exhale for about 6 breaths.
E. You could also practice this in another variation, which is holding the right foot and placing it on the floor on the right side at shoulder level. Practicing the external rotation becomes essential before you do the internal rotation of the hips.
F. Both methods you could hold of 3 breaths using the breathing to take the stretch deeper.
Notice how the hips feel different in both the internal and the external rotation of the hips
A. From Sucirandhrasana, interlock placing the left thigh on the right and bring the knees towards the right side on the floor in Supine Spinal Twist Eagle Legs Pose.
B. In a flow, take the interlocked legs as you inhale and while placing the thighs down on the floor towards the right, you exhale.
C. Stay feeling the inner thighs contract while in this posture for about 6 breaths. You could release and repeat this to go dynamic to gain the flexibility of the hips and the knees.
Notice the contraction of the inner thigh muscles along with the stretch of the gluteus of one side. It is always important to open the hips to both the internal and external rotation yoga poses, but it always starts with the external practice.
A. To complete the supine practice of warming and opening the hips, from Supine Spinal Twist Eagle Legs Pose, come to Reclined Cow Face Pose.
B. Continue with the interlocked thighs, but use the hands to pull or hold the legs at the ankles for better support.
C. Exhale and press the interlocked legs towards you feeling the stretch around the hips and the inner thighs.
D. Keep the back settled on the floor and stay with inhaling and exhaling to maintain the balance here in Reclined Cow Face Pose, for 6 breaths.
E. Loosen up and stretch with exhalation.
Notice that the knees may not be one above the other here, but yet this opening of the hips will slowly and eventually bring the alignment perfect. Eagle Pose or Garudasana uses the hips, shoulders, thighs (hamstrings and quadriceps) in a efficient along with balance to just get the perfect posture.