Garudasana – Master of the Sky.
You are the master of the sky, with eyesight sharp enough to see your prey from a mile away. With calm, steady focus and as light as the feathers that carry you, you sit aloft searching the land below. High above the ground the air is silent; if you held your breath you would hear a pin drop. You spot your prey. Time freezes and, in that split second, you focus and you dive.
Maybe a little dramatic but I have a love for the focus of the mind that Garudasana (Eagle Pose) brings. I like to use this imagery in my class and also in my practice; I want my students to reach a point of meditation and concentration where everything goes silent, just like the moment before the eagle dives when time appears to stand still.
The way our arms and legs are entwined in Garudasana is very grounding, as every limb is hugging in towards the midline of our body. This gives a sense of stability and strength. The concentration needed to balance and hold the pose provides a sense of focus and the slow, meditative breathing needed to quiet the muscles of our face and steady the nerves, allows for calmness.
Physiologically,Garudasana strengthens the ankles, calves and thighs, helps to build core strength and stretches the hips, shoulders and upper back.
So next time you are in your Eagle Pose, have a go at visualising the King of Birds, perched high and observing his prey. And, when you are ready to dive down, open your wings and fly into Warrior 3.
For details on how to do Garudasana go to http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/785