Eagle Pose Legs

Pelvic Articulations to Find the Bind

garudasana

EAGLE POSE

Eagle is a yoga posture that can really highlight the relationship between your pelvis and your hips. Of course, the more you understand your body and how it works, the more you begin to capitalize on its infinite potential. You can do this by utilizing not only drills to prepare you, but also specific articulations of various joints that help you build on strength, flexibility, and mobility in your physical yoga practice. It’s within this understanding that you begin to grow in your practice. Yoga postures that may seem unattainable actually become more accessible or even possible. Sometimes it’s a simple movement or sequence of movements that revolutionizes your experience. In today’s video, Matt shares a simple drill and also a sequence of movements that primarily involve specific actions of your pelvis and hips. Both will transform your Eagle Pose.

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START WITH THIS DRILL

If you know that you are moving in a specific direction within a given yoga practice (e.g., practicing a specific posture), your body requires specific warm-ups to execute the posture as safely as possible. The drill that Matt offers in today’s video focuses on supporting the shape of the legs in Eagle Pose. In the drill, he demonstrates a “straddle and criss-cross” movement in a supine position that works to prepare for the deep crossing of one leg over the other. This deep crossing requires a generous amount of flexibility and mobility. In addition to that, however, a great deal of stability is involved because Eagle Pose is also a balance posture. The drill works to prepare both the adductors and the abductors. As the drill progresses, Matt demonstrates how to pattern the actual wrapping of the legs. Continuing to build is key!

WATCH THE VIDEO

EAGLE POSE LEGS: PELVIC ARTICULATIONS TO FIND THE BIND

ARTICULATIONS TO CONSIDER

You’ll see in the progression of the drill that the wrapping movements prepare you for the internal and external rotation of the legs. However, these movements are only enhanced when you invite in other joint articulations.

As you practice Eagle legs in the supine position, it’s imperative to consider the articulation of the ankle in the top leg. In order to find the bind behind the lower leg, you must create an eversion in the ankle of the top leg. This means that you send your toes out and, as Matt explains it, you “shorten the outer ankle.” This creates a hook or locking to hold the bind in place. Now, remember that nothing works in isolation. How do we enhance this action, or make it more accessible? This is when you can really dive into supine Eagle Pose.

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SUPINE EAGLE POSE

With the aim of increasing the accessibility of the bind, following a sequence of actions is essential. Breaking things down into bits will help you deepen your understanding. It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. As Matt begins to demonstrate more of what’s involved with the legs in supine Eagle Pose, he introduces you to movements in the pelvis, which then inform the legs and feet. 

You’ll see in the video that he internally rotates the upper thigh bone, but to really emphasize this, he laterally tilts the pelvis (lifts the hip of the top leg). This will allow your foot to go behind the bottom leg with more ease. Want to go a step further? Lift your hips off of the ground first and then hike the hip while rotating your hips as if to twist.

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EAGLE POSE ENTRANCE AT THE WALL

Eagle Pose at the wall may provide even more room to experiment with pelvic articulations and movements of the hip. Matt suggests that this is because you no longer have a surface beneath you that may potentially limit the amount of rotation available to you. What’s nice here is that you can initially take the balance portion of the posture out of the equation. You’ll see that you stand perpendicular to the wall with your hand resting on it for balance as you execute the hip hike. The rotation is much more significant as you turn to face the wall. What’s slightly different here is that in order to get your leg over top, you must first externally rotate your thigh before you internally rotate it to then find the bind. Once you find the bind, you can turn away from the wall and attempt to find balance.

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Practicing these actions in isolation will help you to find the confidence to practice them in the perfect sequence. Following each step helps to unravel the pieces that need more attention alongside the pieces that feel strong. The most exciting part of it all is realizing what’s possible. When you attempt what may seem like a tiny adjustment, you’ll experience just how significant the shift is in a posture and ultimately your practice as a whole.  

If you’d like to delve even further, I suggest Matt’s Alignment Immersion, where you’ll really break down each posture one step at a time.

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Alignment Immersion

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