Definition - What does Garudasana mean?

Garudasana is a standing pose in which the practitioner twists one arm with the other and one leg with the other. The term comes from the Sanskrit words garuda (“eagle”) and asana (“pose”).

The practitioner begins in mountain pose, or standing with the feet together and arms at the sides, then crosses the left thigh over the right thigh and hooks the left foot behind the right calf. The right elbow is then placed into the crook of the left elbow as the palms of both hands come together. The pose is usually held for about a half a minute and then repeated on the other side.

Garudasana is also referred to as eagle pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Garudasana

In Hindu mythology, Garuda is the king of birds, who is a vehicle for Vishnu. The term evokes the regal, bird-like stature of the pose.

Eagles are considered powerful and impressive because they can fly for so long without stopping and they do so by “riding the wind.” Similarly, garudasana requires the practitioner to ride the energy of the pose and remain in the present moment rather than resisting it. The physical balance required for the pose aims to center the spirit by balancing dual forces such as feminine and masculine, support and power, and motion and stability.

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