Garudasana Yoga For Balance, Strength and Flexibility

Garudasana or Eagle Pose has been a popular stand alone pose in contemporary yoga as well as ancient hatha yoga. The title has been used in hatha yoga only since medieval times, for a separate post. The Garudasana is one of the three supported postures (dhyana) in Hatha Yoga. The other two postures are also supported by the upper body in the Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Samskarasanas asanas. The Garudasana is basically a forward bend with hands and feet on the floor or firm surface.

Garudasana (Eagle Pose) originates from two highly skilled ashtanga practitioners – Swamasanda and Subhadra Kumar. They studied with many other yogis and established their ashtanga system with mainly preparatory poses. Subhadra Kumar died in the year 1969 but his very good teacher Subodhha Ravi Verma still practices today. Subodha is well known for his deep understanding of muscles, nerves and tissues along with a fine understanding of glands and lymphatic system. In fact he has over 25 years of teaching as a master trainer at Sarnath, Naroni and Khajuraho training centers.

In the garudasana yoga pose, the practitioner’s right arm is in front of the left leg is in front of the right. The torso is relaxed and straight with the head down and the eyes closed. The hands are placed either above or below the heart. The posture assumes a slight curve from head to foot.

The primary target in the practice of garudasana yoga is the glottal fold which lies behind the middle ear. A small muscle on the inner side of the upper eyelid called the vata faces this fold and is the major muscle responsible for controlling eye movement. The other muscles are the levator muscle, the acromioclavicular muscle and the mastic muscle. These three muscles work together to lift up the upper eyelid and bring it close to the temples.

The other important area to work upon when practising garudasana yoga steps is the internal organs. These are the stomach, liver, lungs, intestines and bladder, which are all linked to the whole body and are essential parts. By working out the internal organs, it allows for overall purification and thus cures several disorders including headaches, diabetes, asthma and skin problems. In addition to this, the practitioner also benefits by strengthening his or her back, which is crucial if one wishes to undertake mountain climbing or trekking.

Garudasana yoga is one of the more challenging yoga poses to learn as most people do not have a lot of strength in the legs and are not at the level where they could bend the knees fully. This means that both the internal and external organs must be worked upon in order to balance each other out. However, by working out the different areas in detail with as many of the poses as possible, we can ensure that the entire system is balanced and can help with strength and flexibility as well as purifying the body.

When first starting out with the exercise program, it is advisable to begin with the standing version of the pose. The reason for this is that we have the full range of motion in the legs while standing and are able to work upon the balance much easier than when lying down. After the standing pose, progress to the sitting version which will require the legs to be positioned a bit further back in order to maintain balance. For the most flexible of learners, garudasana steps can be modified to allow for greater freedom of movement. By balancing on the balls of the feet and balancing the head and the upper body on the balls of the feet, the spine can be aligned more perfectly.

The benefits of the eagle pose include better circulation and improved lymphatic flow. Both of these contribute to better overall health and general wellbeing, which are achieved through a strengthened immune system. Of course, we all know how the bird’s feet can cause severe health issues, but this pose can prevent problems such as constipation, back pain and low back pain. Garudasana yoga is ideal for pregnant women as it helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and prepare the abdomen for delivery.

Types Of Yoga Poses


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