4. Yoga Practice

Garudasana – The Eagle Pose.


Garudasana arms

  • Begin in Tadasana – Feet together
  • Bend both legs slightly
  • Bring the toes of the right foot to gently rest on the mat
  • Bend the standing left leg further and cross the right leg over the left thigh
  • If possible, curl the toes of the right foot or the whole right foot around the back of the left calf
  • If this is not possible then draw the right foot in towards the side of the left leg as much as is possible and comfortable
  • Drop the tailbone downward towards the heel of the standing foot
  • Take the arms out sideways and draw them forward in front of the chest
  • Cross the left arm over the right arm
  • Bend the arms at the elbows so the forearms come up vertically
  • Either rest the back of the right hand against the back of the left wrist and hand or
  • If flexibility allows, wrap the right hand across the left wrist so that the fingers of the right hand rest on the palm of the left hand or, if possible, both palms touching
  • The arms and hands become entwined
  • Draw the crossed arms upwards so that the elbows are at shoulder level and
  • Gently take the entwined arms away from the face
  • Hold for 3 to 5 breaths as a beginner or 8 – 10 breaths as a more advanced practitioner
  • To release – uncross the legs slowly and mindfully taking the feet back into Tadasana
  • Bring the arms downwards, uncross the arms gently, take the arms out sideways and release the arms down alongside the body
  • Repeat again for the same duration of time swapping the cross of the legs and the cross of the arms

Garudasana frontal

Note: The cross of the arms IS opposite to the cross of the legs

Garudasana Arms Female

Counterpose / Pratikryasana:

  • Tadasana, (feet together) or
  • Samasthiti, (feet hip distance apart)
  • Roll the shoulders up and forwards 3 – 5 times and then
  • Roll the shoulders up and backwards 3-5 times or
  • Shrug the shoulder upwards then gently release back down 3 – 5 times.



  • Strengthens the legs and the ankles
  • Relieves cramps in the calf muscles
  • With the arms in the classic Garudasana position, tension in the shoulders and upper back is released
  • The pose opens the upper neck muscles, relieving tightness and tension
  • Improves and increases the power of concentration
  • Assists to bring the mind to one-pointedness

Garudasana Mala Side Profile

Cautions and Modifications:

  • If having the arms in the Eagle position proves to be too strenuous on the shoulders and or the neck, place the hands in Anjali Mudra or Namaskar, (Prayer position)
  • Alternatively, the hands can rest on the thigh of the upper leg
  • Garudasana should not be practised most especially in the first trimester of pregnancy.

 Chakra Association:

Muladhara Chakra ~ Root Centre.

Wishing you love in abundance!

 Yours in Yoga, 


Woman relaxing in a yoga position

Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since 2007. jcaprari@mweb.co.za or visit the website www.yogamala.co.za or www.facebook.com/YogaMalaCapeTown