Continuing the standing series in Bikram yoga is Garurasana, or Eagle Pose. This is a compression posture which squeezes the body in all new ways. When you release the pose, the massive amounts of blood flow that fill your body back up will release joints and relieve all the tension that you’ve created up til now.
Eagle Pose is the only posture that “opens up the 14 largest joints in the skeletal system.” According to Bikram’s site, it increases “flexibilities in the hips, knees, ankles” as well as “supplies fresh blood to the reproductive system…sex organs, plus the kidneys, which increases sexual vitality and helps clear up reproductive problems.” You’ll also find that this pose challenges you in maintaining your balance as you cross your legs and sit low, as low as you can.
Crossing the arms in front of your face, and pulling them below your eyes, you lift your leg as high as you can over the other. Sit down in the imaginary chair (why is there still no chair?!) Cross the leg all the way behind and hook your foot behind your calf. As we’re told in class, if the leg is slipping, sit down further. And remember to lean back. You want a straight spine. Honestly, I have to say that I find Eagle a little more awkward than Awkward.
But while you’re struggling to lean back, sit down, get your fingertips below your eyes and get all ten toes visible in the front mirror, just remember that you’re also firming your calves, hips, abdomen and upper arms. You’re relieving tension in your neck and shoulders, as well as helping any varicose veins you might have.
And if none of this is making Garurasana look good, how about this? Water break is next!
Posted by Liz Alfano