Garudasana or Eagle Pose is an asana. Sanskrit: गरुडासन; Garuda – Eagle, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – gah-roo-dah-sah-nah
Garuda is the Sanskrit term for eagle. Indian mythology suggests that Garuda was the king of all birds. This bird not only served as the vehicle of Lord Vishnu but was also a frontrunner when it came to fighting against demons. Garuda also means devour. Being an old representation of the mythical phoenix, they say that the Garuda identifies itself with the “all-consuming fire of the sun’s rays”.
This asana must be done only on an empty stomach. You need to make sure to have your meals four to six hours before your practice and give your body enough time to digest your food. Ideally, there needs to be a 10-12 hour gap between your meals and your practice, which is why it is best advised to practice this asana early in the morning. However, owing to busy schedules, a lot of people find it hard to work out in the morning. Such people may practice yoga in the evening. Your bowels also must be clean when you practice this asana.
These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.
As beginners, you might find it difficult to tangle your arms around each other. To make it easier, stretch your arms out, such that they are parallel to the floor. Hold onto the ends of a strap. Now, as you hold on to the strap tightly, try and wrap your hands into position.
You might also find it hard to latch your raised foot behind the standing leg’s calf. Until you get comfortable, press the big toe of the raised leg instead of the whole foot. This will help you maintain balance.
To deepen the pose, once you have assumed the posture, lean forward, and nudge your forearms into the thigh of the top leg. Hold for a few seconds. Then, come back up. Repeat the asana with the other leg.
When you do this asana, it is likely that you feel constricted. But when you master it, your body feels like it is ‘riding in the wind’, just like an eagle. The term ‘riding in the wind’ refers to a flow of energy in any situation. This flow, or energy, helps you become steady, stable, and spacious in the midst of a challenging situation, without any barriers. Resisting makes you tired, and you are tempted to give up. If you give up or resist while you are in this asana, you will most likely lose your balance. But if you do this asana with an open mind and great courage, you will overcome the obstacles and have a constant flow of positive energy through your mind and body.
Now that you know how to do the Garudasana correctly, what are you waiting for? This asana is meant to devour fear, ego, and doubt so that you can make way for positive intentions. Practicing this asana regularly makes you strong and focused, just like the mighty Eagle.
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