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Let the eagle help you find your balance. Garud means ‘Eagle’ in Sanskrit, so this pose literally translates as Eagle pose. Although it may look a little complicated and as if you are wrapping yourself around yourself, in fact, the key to it, is balance. And practice, concentration and of course, a little good old-fashioned faith! But if you are finding it difficult to balance – there is always a friendly wall near by to support you! Once you’ve mastered the Eagle – you can begin to reap the benefits of this pose. Physically it strengthens and stretches the calves and ankles – areas which we often neglect in everyday life!
Comprehensively it stretches your thighs, hips, shoulders and upper back. Most wonderfully, it requires concentration and focus of the breath, mind and body – which encourages total relaxation…
How to do it:
1. Stand in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot.
2. Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your shoulder blades wide. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms. The backs of your hands should be facing each other.
3. Now try and bring and press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.
4. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute, then unwind the legs and arms and stand in Tadasana again. Repeat reversed.