DAY 21 - read to the end for your challenge/question of the day.
We are blessed with another guest post from Katia on this beautiful Sunday!
Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Guest blog by Katia Grodecki, yoga teacher and creative director, Dharma Wanderlust
Garudasana is a challenging grounding balance pose that requires our full attention to be here and now, in the present moment. I recommend using a block and standing next to a wall when you first practice this pose. As you gain confidence, move away from the wall and perhaps you will find you do not need to use a block at all. This pose is also great for toning the lower body and the shoulders, allowing you to release tension across the upper back and shoulders.
1. Begin by standing in Tadasana, mountain pose, with both feet firmly rooting down into the mat. Lift the toes, spread them and press your feet down. Allow yourself to stand tall, lifting the pelvic floor and the belly, lifting the heart and softening the shoulders as you take a few full breaths.
2. Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you start to squat into the pose, taking the sit bones back and lifting the toes to ensure that your weight is evenly distributed between your feet, finding your centre of gravity.
3. Inhale, firmly root the left foot down into the mat as you start to pick up the right leg with control. Keep both hands on your hips. Either place your right foot on the block on the outside of your left leg (standing leg), or, if available, wrap the leg around and hook the toes of your right foot around your standing leg.
4. Inhale and extend both arms out the side. Then, wrap the right arm under the left arm, either placing the backs of the hands together in front of your face or, if available, allowing the arms to intertwine and bringing the palms of the hands together in front of the face.
5. Exhale and lift the elbows up, lift the hands away from your face, and draw the heads of the arm bones back gently. This should feel like a great stretch for the upper back.
6. Inhale and find one steady point at which to gaze.
7. As you exhale, stay in the pose or practise sitting back deeper, maybe bringing the elbows lower toward the belly, coiling in with control, continuing to lift the bandhas.
8. Stay in the pose for 5-8 breaths. To come out, inhale and unravel the arms. Exhale, unravel the legs. Stand evenly on both feet and move the hips gently from side to side to release any holding in the muscles. Take a full breath and repeat on the other side.
Day 21 challenge:
The eagle symbolizes the triumph of the spirit over the intellect. When we find our balance in this posture we can gaze through the third eye (ajna chakra) and bring our true nature into sharp focus. How did you feel in this posture? Was your balance challenged? Did you feel one side was more challenging that the other? Share with us in the comment box below.
All participants’ names will be entered in our 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister draw Oct. 1st.