July Pose of the Month

What inspires you to continue soaring, to “ride the wind”, above and beyond obstacles? Times of change? How does it make you feel?

Perhaps like a powerful, brave eagle? The story or myth of Garuda teaches us that we possess the to key to unlock our hidden powers- our hidden potential- to embrace change to overcome obstacles. Though at times in the face of change, obstacles or adversity we might feel small and powerless, the divine powers are within us. Garuda was so powerful that he was forced to reduce himself in size and energy. Later in life when faced with the crisis of having to save his mother, he ran into many obstacles. He overcame those obstacles by making a decision to use his powers, to not allow others to hold him back and his potential to remain hidden any longer.

Sometimes it’s easier, or may appear easier, to withdraw or avoid our fears , insecurities, doubts. We can withdraw and not chose to put our divine power and energy towards facing and/or overcoming obstacles. We ultimately have a choice and the power to chose. We can take that key and unlock our powers, the potential within us, and put our energy toward triumph. To not succumb to the fear of flying or flying alone if that’s what it takes.

Sometimes we just have to “ride the wind” like a brave eagle (garuda). We have to “ride the flow or energy of any situation”, says Cyndi Lee. Just like Garuda, we have to make the decision to ride the wind, to soar above and beyond.

If you haven’t figured it out already, our pose of the month is Garudasana- Eagle Pose. In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the “eagle”- Garuda is a mythical bird. Garuda is the vehicle of the god Vishnu and is said to be the king of birds.

In Garudasana your body may feel a little awkward as it gets twisted up, but you can still ride the wind of the pose. Garudasana helps you to find spaciousness and stability. It stretches and creates space through the back body, relieving upper back tension and lower back aches. It helps to stretch and strengthen the shoulders, ankles, thighs, and hips. It also improves concentration and balance that can help you on and off the mat. So as you can see there is a lot going on here, but remember even if you can’t hold the pose in its standing balance variation, there is a variation for everyone to be able to soar and “ride the wind.”

Soar on over to class this month at ISY to practice Garudasana w/us!

To practice Garudasana at home, follow the steps below.

Start from Mountain Pose

  • Bend knees and sit back toward Utkatāsana.

  • Shift weight to right foot, lift left knee and cross left thigh over right.

  • Internally rotate both thighs to wind legs together.  

  • Left foot can come to rest on a block on the outside of the right ankle or come to lock behind the right calf.

  • Lift arms in front, cross right arm over left arm above the elbow. Bend elbows and rotate forearms together to touch palms, or press backs of hands together.

  • Lift elbows as high as shoulders and protract shoulder blades.

  • Extend spine and then begin to hinge from hips, possibly bringing the elbows to touch the knees

  • Bring your Dṛsti (gaze) toward the thumbs and hold for 3-5 breaths.

  • Repeat on other side.

<3 Namaste