GARUDASANA – EAGLE POSE
Why is it hard to double wrap the leg
Garudasana, known as Eagle Pose is a challenging hip opener and hip strengthener. Its useful in developing balance, but for many people, double wrapping the legs is not accessible. For sure, some people have no trouble at all with this while others are completely perplexed.
There are 3 reasons why it would be challenging for you or your students to double wrap the legs
- Lack of flexibility of the Abductor Muscles (outer hip muscles) – these are the muscles that are lengthened when we cross our legs
- Lack of strength of the standing hip Abductor muscles. This is a bit confusing unless you watch the video below. The standing hip abductors help to elevate the oposite side of tthe pelvis, making it more possible t cross the legs.
- Lack of technique and timing. More often than not if you are not applying deliberate technique you will be going about a posture the hard way, which means that you will only be able to do the postures that match your set of physical muscular patterns. This is a disservice, not because you will miss out on the poses, but because you will miss out on the oportunity to change your muscle patterns. In the video below you will see the timing and techniques for getting into Eagle Pose with double wrapped legs.
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How to Increase Flexibility of the Abductors – Outer Hips
If flexibility is inhibiting you from accessing Garudasana, Eagle Pose, and you want to find ways to access your greater range of motion of the outer hip muscles than there are a couple of postures you can work with. Any posture that includes criss crossed legs will be useful and effective in increasing abductor flexibility. There aren’t many traditional postures aside from eagle pose itself. One that comes to mind is Golmukhasana, Cow Faced Pose. However in all honesty I would say that eagle pose is more of the predecessor to Golmukhasana, Cow Faced Pose because Eagle Pose requires less flexibility. The one that I use in the Hips and Hamstrings immersion to prepare for eagle is a straight single leg forward fold with criss crossed legs.
How to Get into the Straight Leg Criss Crossed Forward Fold
- Start in lunge pose with your right foot forward.
- Heal toe (move) your right foot to the left side of the matt
- Step your back left foot to the right side of the mat so that now both legs are criss crossed
- I suggest using block under both hands prior to the last step
- Straighten your legs to a degree where you are stretching without strain
IMPORTANT KEY ACTION: Wag your tail bone to the left to increase the stretch along the outer hip and I.T Band. Or if its too intense you can wag your tail to the right to decrease the outer hip stretch.
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WHY LACK OF ABDUCTOR STRENGTH HOLDS YOU BACK IN EAGLE POSE
Strength of the abductor group (outer hip muscles) is super important for two reasons. First the standing hip abductors are what lift your opposite side of the pelvis upward which allows you to cross your legs. Second, without outer hip strength you would struggle to balance the pose! The outer hip muscles play a major role in balancing any single leg pose. So if you find it challenging to balance Garudasana Eagle Pose, than you will want to start with a strength training routine for the abductors. We focus in on strengthening these muscles in the Hips and Hamstrings Immersion
FREE VIDEO TUTORIAL: HOW TO DOUBLE WRAP THE LEGS IN GARUDASANA, EAGLE POSE
This video clip was taken from class #3 in the Hips and Hamstrings: 12 Class Immersion
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