How to Land Eagle Pose with Flying Colors: Yoga tips & tricks from Hatteras Island

Want to learn more about Eagle Pose? Read what's behind the pose, hold to it AND the mythology.

Buxton beach yoga practice, Hatteras Island

Holding eagle pose is exhilirating.

Think balance, concentration, broadening. Think a niiice stretch in the shoulders. In fact, the space in the back between the shoulder blades that opens up & expands in eagle pose is the same space we want exposed and reaching while in downdog, in plank, in cat, etc. Keep this in mind while you hold the pose, see what you tap into.

In the full expression of the pose, it’s a crossing of arms and legs. You have the option to work on your balance & concentration and cross both sets of limbs. Or feel free to enjoy the stretch and the heart-opening from behind by just holding eagle arms. I treasure both versions.

In crossing the arms, the backs of the hands can touch, or you can furl even further, fingers to palm. See what feels right.

Eagle pose on Hatteras Island, yoga on the beach

If you are adding in a crossing of the legs, I ask that you not get caught up on what arm goes under and what leg goes over. When it comes to the science of asana, there is an energetic intention involved, however we want to take flight, not get bogged down. So no worries, just fly safely – listen to your bod and have fun.

If you fall, whoohoo! Falling out it means you went for it in the first place and I applaud you! I recommend trying all four crossing variations for yourself and see how it all feels. Is one combo more difficult to hold and balance? Is one more opening than the other? Experiment.

Also, ‘crossing a leg’ could mean that your toes find the outside of your calf or simply touch the earth on the other side OR it could mean that your toes wrap all the way back around to the inside of your grounded leg. Your choice.

Please prepare for takeoff and enjoy your flight.

Friends around the world, holding eagle pose and shining their shine

Friends around the world, holding eagle pose and shining their shine

Did you know…

Garuda is translated as eagle but it isn’t technically an eagle – it’s a wild, magical bird, appearing in Hindu and Buddhist myths, stepping up as king of the birds. And that’s because of its extraordinary ability to fly with no need to land.

Yep, it can fly forever. How though?

It learned how to ride the wind. The bird doesn’t simply go with the flow and get blown wherever the wind takes it. No, it learned how to navigate the wind (the energy) and how to harness it.

To ride the wind means to embrace it and get to know the wind rather than complaining when it’s windy. Even when the winds are unfavorable, the garuda knows not to resist, because that’s how it gets tired. Instead, it quickly feels its way into harnessing the power and leading itself through. Garuda-skillz.

What’s funny is when you get all wrapped up in eagle pose, from an outside perspective you look constricted and bound, but really you are gaining freedom and space, you are strengthening your power to concentrate, to balance, to ride the wind.