Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Iyengar's difficulty rating: 1* out of 60*

Iyengar's Technique:

  1. Stand in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly.
  2. Bring your L leg over your R thigh. Rest the back of your L thigh on top of your R thigh.
  3. Tuck your L foot behind your R calf. Touch your L shin to your R calf and subtly hook your L big toe inside and above your R ankle. Your legs are now intertwined.
  4. Balance in this shape on your R foot.
  5. Bend your elbows and raise your arms to chest-height. Wrap your L arm under your R arm so that your elbows cross. Then bring your hands towards one another and place your R fingers on your L palm. Your arms are now intertwined.
  6. Remain in this position for 15-20 seconds. With deep breathing. Return to Tadasana before attempting the other side.

Comparing Forms:

  • Iyengar is allowing his hips to turn and shifting his weight to one side in order to wrap his lifted leg. I typically attempt to keep my hips square and distribute the rotational forces of this pose evenly between both legs.
  • I usually attempt to deepen this pose by bending my knees more, sitting lower, and working to keep my spine relatively extended. It's hard to tell whether Iyengar is doing the same, or whether he is actually emphasizing standing tall in the shape.