Garudasana – Eagle pose
Garudasana can be performed on your back, sitting in a chair, or standing. It is helpful to do eagle arms and eagle legs separately for the first few times. Garudasana or eagle pose has many benefits for the full body. It not only quiets and centers the mind, it is capable of awakening awareness, creativity, and simultaneously strengthens the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
- Strengthens and lengthens the leg muscles
- Strengthens the ankles
- Lengthens the shoulder and upper back muscles
- Strengthens the lymph system
- Improves concentration
- Improves balance
- Energizes the entire body and all its systems
Eagle Arms: Lying down
Lying on back: extend your arms out to the sides. Inhale a full deep breath and bring your arms in front of your body stacking the right elbow over the left elbow bending at elbow and weaving your forearms and hands together. Arms are in front of your face. For a deeper opening in the shoulders and back, you can breathe deeply and lift the arms slightly higher, being mindful to keep the shoulders back and down. Breathe in and out full deep breaths through the nostrils.
Eagle Legs: Lying down
Laying on your back with arms intertwined; extend your legs toward the sky, inhale a full deep breath and then cross your left leg over your right, exhale bend knees and bring them towards your chest. Breathing full deep breathes keep your shoulders back and down, pressing forearms and hands together, and drawing the knees closer to your chest. Breathe 4-6 full deep breaths, saying to yourself, I am centered, I am strong, I am flexible like the wind.
Eagle Arms – Standing
Find a dristi point, or a point of focus standing in tadasana or mountain pose, bring your legs together so that the knees are touching and slightly bent. Standing upright, extend your arms out to the sides. Bring your arms in front of your body, palms and forearms together, hands are in front of your face. Bring your right elbow over the left, and then right hand wraps around to meet the left hand, palms together. Lift your elbows to shoulder height. Keep shoulders back and down, gently pressing forearms and hands together.
Eagle Legs – Standing
Standing with your feet and legs together, bend both knees slightly, as if sitting in a chair. Shift your weight to your right foot and cross your left leg over the right. Bring your toes around the calf near the ankle. It is important to keep your knees bent in order to achieve this. In either variation, remember to alternate sides, left arm over right, right leg over left. Either sitting or standing, remember to breathe into these asana’s for a minimum of three full deep breaths, build up to six breaths on each side.
You can also do this on a chair as I do with my senior students. If you are unable to tuck your toe underneath the ankle while sitting, standing, or in a chair, just allow your foot to rest at it’s side. Do not force or strain.
- Knee injury – focus on eagle arms
- Ankle injury – focus on eagle arms
- Shoulder injury – engage in eagle legs
- Hip injury or surgery – do eagle arms
- High blood pressure – try this in a chair
I am a woman who has recovered from two hip revisions and am able to perform Garudasana on my back, or in a chair. The most important ingredient when practicing yoga is to honor the needs of your body. Garudasana is challenging but can be mastered within a short period of time. Repeat this balancing posture on the opposite sides, either sitting, standing or in a chair.
In Vedic mythology, Garuda is the eagle god-half bird and half man. He is frequently shown carrying Vishnu, the god who maintains the universe. Garuda is known as the destroyer of obstacles to the fulfillment of desires. Develop the focused attention and balance required to master the eagle pose and obstacles will dissipate from your life.
Practice these balancing poses on a regular basis and in addition to mastering the postures, you will find it easier to maintain your balance in all situations in your life. There is no reason not to practice yoga. The skills gained during the practice of yoga translate into life skills. Everyone can benefit from greater balance in life.
David Simon: Tuning into the Needs of the Moment
David Simon – Co-Founder Chopra Center University
Tuning into the Needs of the Moment
As teachers of Chopra Center University we were blessed to have many spiritual awakenings, and able to learn new patterns of thinking and exploring new perspectives. I would like to share with you some of the materials that were brought to us by Dr. David Simon – the Co-Founder of Chopra Center University. The subject is communication, and how we can learn to create better relationships by bringing our awareness into the needs of the present moment. Below is a hand out of what Dr. Simon shared with us at Primordial Sound Meditation Training, in May, 2010.
Living beings form relationships through the power of communication – the sharing of information. Information is the communication of uncertainty. If nothing unknown is communicated, no information is transmitted. The communication of uncertainty enriches every relationship across the spectrum of life.
When we behave in predictable and conditioned ways, there is no sharing of uncertainty and no deepening of the connection. Relationships falter when we know how people will respond before they say or do anything. Effective communication requires that we break out of our conditioned responses, while tuning in to the needs of the moment. Relationships that consistently refer to the past or impose certainty onto the future inevitably become stagnant or disintegrate.
Get clarity about what you need, be sensitive to the needs of those around you, and commit to enhancing your communication skills. Getting your needs met and helping others meet theirs begins with paying attention to three basic principles: 1.) vulnerability; 2.) code breaking; and 3.) accordance.
Effective communication requires a willingness to be vulnerable. Allowing yourself to be consciously vulnerable means opening to the possibility that something unexpected and unpredicted may transpire. Only if you can relinquish your need to defend your self image while seeking to communicate something original is there the possibility of deepening of intimacy. Most arguments are created when we sense we have to sacrifice some aspect of our ego and decide that the price may not be worth the intimacy. Most arguments are created when we sense we have to sacrifice some aspects of our ego and decide that the price may not be worth the intimacy. Being sensitive to your sensations of comfort and discomfort helps you decide when to be open and when to do a better job of clearly defining your boundaries.
The essence of communication in relationships is the crossing of boundaries. This requires that you acknowledge the boundaries of your and the other’s self image, and then consciously open a channel that allows information to flow.
If you find that you are having a recurrent argument, it’s usually a sign that you need to be more conscious of where you want to set your margins. It is your choice to say yes or no. If your heart says it’s safe, allow your vulnerability to take your relationship to a new level.
2.) Code Breaking
Code breaking means being willing to suspend your assumptions and listen attentively to what another person is trying to communicate. Particularly when approaching emotionally vulnerable issues, we are are prone to talk in our code, testing whether it is safe to be more vulnerable. Practice being willing to say, “I’m not sure I understand what you need right now. Can you tell me in a different way?” or “I’m not sure that you’re hearing what I need right now. Can I clarify for you in a different way?” Breaking out of the conditioned code words means exploring a new vocabulary so that real information is communicated.
Accordance means seeking solutions in which both people get some needs met. Relinquish your pattern of belief that if one person wins, another losses. Practice saying, “I’ll do my best to give what you’re asking for. Are you willing to help me get my needs met?”
If you lead with an authentic commitment to serve, you are more likely to hear “yes” in response to your requests, depending your connection and developing the confidence that your relationships can be nourishing. Through the power of communication, your heart can open and your sense of self can expand.
Thank you, David Simon