Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

GARUDASANA – EAGLE POSE

How to Double Wrap the Legs

Eagle Pose

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

 

  1. Lack of flexibility of the Abductor Muscles (outer hip muscles) – these are the muscles that are lengthened when we cross our legs
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

"HIPS & HAMSTRINGS" IMMERSION

  • Increase Range Of Motion Of Your Hips & Hamstrings
  • Learn Techniques like “Fascillitated Stretching”
  • Release Stress Patterns, Discomfort, or Pain in Your Hips, Back and Knees.
  • Twelve 75 min Classes, All Levels Appropriate
  • Learn Postures: Pigeon, Lizard Variations, Lotus, Eagle, Hanuman, Fire Log, Seated Straddle Splits and More!
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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

  1. Start in lunge pose with your right foot forward.
  2. Heal toe (move) your right foot to the left side of the matt
  3. Step your back left foot to the right side of the mat so that now both legs are criss crossed
  4. I suggest using block under both hands prior to the last step
  5. 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

HOW TO DOUBLE WRAP THE LEGS

 

    You will notice in the video above that I am focused on squeezing the outer standing hip inward, and lifting the opposite side of the pelvis upward as a result. This allows the thigh bone to more easily cross the midline of the body. You will also notice that my thighs are significantly rotated inward this helps to get the wrapping of the legs as well. In the class leading up to this tutorial we used a wall to eliminate the necessity to balance while you are working with these actions. In the video above you will see I mock the use of a wall, I highly recommend you try it that way. 
yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

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HOW DO I INCREASE FLEXIBILITY OF MY HIPS FOR OTHER YOGA POSTURES?

The easy answer to this is to practice in such a way that you are deliberately strengthening each muscle group around the hips. To learn more about what muscle groups are involved in hip opening, check out the article I wrote on The 4 Quadrants of The Hips which I share with you my methodology and approach that I use for my personal practice and in my teaching. Once you understand which muscles surround the hip joints, the next step is to begin strengthening each muscle group. Strengthening one muscle group through range of motion will increase flexibility of the opposing muscle group. This is the magic of educated and deliberate practice, we take the guess work out and our efforts are more effective in achieving our intended results. 

To increase your strength and flexibility of the hips, you can join the Hips and Hamstrings Immersion that will take you through 12 75min Online Yoga Classes, each focused on a different posture and the relevant muscle group(s). I take you through creative ways of strengthening each muscle group, then provide you with effective technique for stretching and accessing various. yoga postures. 

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

"HIPS & HAMSTRINGS" IMMERSION

  • Increase Range Of Motion Of Your Hips & Hamstrings
  • Learn Techniques like “Fascillitated Stretching”
  • Release Stress Patterns, Discomfort, or Pain in Your Hips, Back and Knees.
  • Twelve 75 min Classes, All Levels Appropriate
  • Learn Postures: Pigeon, Lizard Variations, Lotus, Eagle, Hanuman, Fire Log, Seated Straddle Splits and More!
  • Lifetime Unlimited Access to All

Continue Learning

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

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read more
hips and hamstring flexibility

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Pigeon Without Knee Pain

Pigeon Pose

without Knee Pain

Why Stretching your hips might cause knee pain

Pigeon Pose is one of the most widely beloved postures in the yoga practice across a multitude of styles. This is for good reason. However, the issue I see most often with this posture is that it comes with little guidance as to how to activate your muscles and align your bones and joints, and as a result many people experience pain in their knees or quite simply never find an increase in hip mobility.  In this video I share my top three steps to a deep stretch in the hips without compromising the knee joint.

In my most recent online workshop, “Hips: Rock and Unlock Em” I go over some key actions in detail, and guide students into one of my favorite variations of pigeon posture – so if you like what you get in this video, definitely check out that full 2 hour workshop that goes over all you need to know about hip opening.

The key point that I go over in the video below and in the online workshop is that some of the hip muscles cross both the hip joint AND the knee joint, and so when we stretch the hips we are also stretching the knee. In addition, many hip stretches require putting pressure on the knee joint in order to rotate the thigh bone in the hip joint. One of the techniques I personally use is something called a facilitated stretch in order to target the belly (middle) of the muscles rather than the attachment points near each joint. Facilitated Stretch simply means an activation of the same muscles that are stretching. In the case of pigeon, I aim for the activation of the buttock muscles.

The Gluteus Maximus in particular is my focus because it feeds into the IT band, and the IT band connects to the knee joint. Any stretch of the buttocks could result in a straining of the knee. I find it incredibly helpful to activate the buttocks in order to ground and stabilize the knee joint. In addition, I also offer an activation from the other surrounding joint – the ankle. By activating certain muscles of the ankle I have found more access to spaciousness in the knee.

To be fair, nothing is fool proof. I have, however, tested these techniques among various body types over the past ten years and I have found it to be incredibly effective for most students. The result is deeper stretch in the hips and less or no strain or pain at all in the knee. That being said, this is your body and you have the greatest understanding of it when you tune in to how you feel and what you feel. The online Hips workshop is designed to help you with exactly that – Learn to feel your body on a more specific and nuanced level. Enjoy this free tutorial and as always let me know if you have questions about your body or your practice. If the video is helpful please share it!

Facilitated Stretching

Increases your range of motion while maintaining muscle integrity. Facilitated stretching is the activation or engagement of the muscles that are stretching. Activating the muscle while stretching causes the Golgi tendon organ to send a signal to the spinal column, and the spinal column speaks back, telling the muscles to relax.

OPEN YOUR HIPS AND HEART

The July Immersion takes you on a 12 Class Journey through the Chakras and the elements, to develop your strength, flexibility and awareness of each energy center and the corresponding muscles. There is a heavy focus on the Hips in the Earth, & Water classes, and the Back in the Water and Air classes, balanced by Core strengthening in the Fire section.

Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em

Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access and can enjoy the benefits today!

3 Steps for Pigeon Pose

Step 1 - Evert the ankle

Everting at the ankle joint aligns the shin at the knee joint, and activates the outer shin muscles (fibularis muscles). In addition, when in pigeon pose, it supports the external rotation at the femur bone (front leg) in the hip socket. When everting, you can try rolling the calf muscle forward toward the front of your mat to initiate external rotation at the knee. This can help to open the inner portion of the knee.

Step 2: Press outer Front knee Down

From your buttock muscles, press the outer front knee down and as a result, you should feel your hips lift up a little bit. If you don’t feel this you may have to think about pulling your front knee toward the back knee. Once you get your buttocks to activate, your femur (thigh bone) will begin to externally rotate. This action supports more congruency (more space) at the knee, and begins a facilitated stretch.

Step 3: Rotate The back Hip inward

Rotating the back thigh bone will help to rotate the pelvis toward the earth. Because the muscles of the front hip are connected to the pelvis, if you rotate the pelvis it lengthens the muscles causing a deeper stretch. I only recommend this if you are feeling at ease in the front knee. If so, go slow because it is very easy to lose what you have already created in step 1 and 2.

Sit, Stand, Walk.

Keeping the buttock muscles healthy and supple can really help in finding comfort when sitting, standing, or walking. Since most of our day is spent doing one of these three things, I highly recommend taking the time to do postures like pigeon pose, and do them well.

Listen To Your Body

Alignment cues and muscle engagements can be highly beneficial, so take the time to feel how they land in your body. There is no magic action or alignment for everyone, so I really encourage you to explore these actions while truly listening to your body. This particular set of cues might be what creates an “aha” moment for you, or it could be the complete opposite, so try them and ask yourself what you feel and what your experience is. Try to dissociate feeling bad with effort, and good with doing nothing. They sometimes correlate and sometimes not. If these actions wound up being right for you then I recommend practicing them whenever you are doing pigeon, and always maintain awareness of what your body is feeling. Through deep focus and exploration you will be able to collect the right actions for you.  If you found this useful, please share this post and for a full practice using this approach, check out Hips: Rock and Unlock ‘Em

OPEN YOUR HIPS AND HEART

The July Immersion takes you on a 12 Class Journey through the Chakras and the elements, to develop your strength, flexibility and awareness of each energy center and the corresponding muscles. There is a heavy focus on the Hips in the Earth, & Water classes, and the Back in the Water and Air classes, balanced by Core strengthening in the Fire section.

Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em

Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access and can enjoy the benefits today!

LIVESTREAM IMMERSION PACKAGES

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  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
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BIRDS OF PARADISE

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BEST STARTER PACKAGE

  • 6 YOGA CLASSES
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JOURNEY TO BLISS

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KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
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JOURNEY TO THE HEART

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  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIVETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES
  • SALE Price:$128

Continue Learning

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE How to Double Wrap the LegsEagle Pose 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...

read more
hips and hamstring flexibility

hips and hamstring flexibility

Hips & Hamstrings Flexibility "The 4 Quadrants of The Hips"Hip & Hamstrings Hips And Hamstrings Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? If you practice yoga you are sure to increase your flexibility of the hips and hamstrings. However, that doesn't mean you will...

read more
Yoga Sequencing: Teaching Technique Reverse Engineering

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Intelligent Yoga Sequence Technique "REVERSE ENGINEERING"Yoga Sequencing HOW TO DESIGN AN INTELLIGENT YOGA SEQUENCE REVERSE ENGINEERING Designing an intelligent yoga sequence for your at-home practice or for your students can create a massive lifelong impact. Whether...

read more
Best Backbend Technique to relieve back pain

Best Backbend Technique to relieve back pain

Backbend Technique to relieve back pain "BOWING THE SPINE"Bowing The Spine Why are backbends uncomfortable for many people? Can we do anything to change this? Let's dive into my #1 backbend technique to relieve back pain, and provide you with maximum range of motion....

read more
firefly pose titibhasana

firefly pose titibhasana

FIREFLY POSE TITIBHASANA STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL: LEARN TO FLYFIREFLY POSE FIREFLY POSE: TITIBHASANA STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL: 4 KEY ACTIONS Firefly pose (Titibhasana) might have you thinking, “There is no way I’ll ever be able to do THAT pose!” Yes, for sure it requires...

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release low back pain in backbends

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