This month we're focusing on Eagle Pose - check out the benefits, technique and the goods, then put it all to work in class!
Eagle pose is the last of the warm-up series and provides us with the most critical of warm up infusions: lubrication of the major joints of our body. In this “twist like ropes” posture, our squeaky joints get a hot oil treatment and the tourniquet effect allows for a full blast of freshly, oxygenated blood to rush through all four limbs. Wow!
Begin standing with your feet together, arms by your side. With a big breath, raise both arms overhead and quickly swing your right arm under your left, crossing above the elbows (aim for triceps) and then again at the wrists. Try to press your palms together and hold prayer position, thumbs crossed. If that’s not available, interlace your fingers into a fist and pull your elbows down to help open the shoulders.
Now, sit down into a chair while squeezing the legs together, helping to keep the core muscles engaged. Lift your right leg up and over your left, crossing at the thighs and if possible, again at the ankle. Try to wrap your right ankle around your left standing calf to really squeeze the legs of existing blood supply. If you can’t double cross your legs at the ankles, don’t worry! Just squeeze your hanging ankle as close to your standing calf, ensuring the effects of the tourniquet.
Sit a little deeper and use the mirror to try and line up your fingers under your nose, your elbows under your wrists, and your knees and ankles under your elbows. Do your best to get all major joints in one line down the center of the body. Sit low and arch your upper body back to stretch the spine.
Repeat left side.
Eagle pose is the final pose before we begin the balancing series. After breathing deeply in Pranayama, opening the spine and hamstrings in Half-Moon, and warming the leg muscles in Awkward, we finally address the joints in Eagle. Upon completion of this pose, we have successfully prepared the body to work as a whole unit. This pose really flushes the limbs with oxygenated blood and wakes up the nervous system by twisting and toning the leg and arm muscles. Take a sip of your water, and get ready to practice standing on one leg!