How To Do Eagle Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Eagle Pose in a blue tan top and yoga pants

Eagle is a balance pose that improves not only balance but overall stability and posture while stretching your thighs, hips, shoulders and upper back. In addition, while you stand on one leg to balance you are improving the stability and strength in your ankle and calves. If you are looking for a way to improve your balance and stretch your thighs and hips you should learn how to do Eagle Pose.

One of the most challenging parts of yoga is learning how to balance. It is not natural to us and requires a sense of calm and concentration. However, fitness professionals will tell you that balance is an important element of your fitness routine, especially as you age. The Mayo Clinic reports that balance training is important, especially with age, since a deterioration in balance can lead to falls and fractures. And yet, balance is crucial for everyone. It improves your workouts, protects you from injury and lessens the effects of every day slips and falls. Eagle Pose incorporates deep stretches throughout both the upper and lower body muscles, of which you can determine how deep you want to go.

Before you try Eagle Pose you should first learn how to do Tree Pose. Tree Pose is a basic pose that almost anyone can learn and it will teach you the basics of balance such as using your core and finding a focal point with your eyes. One you have Tree Pose mastered you can work toward wrapping your legs and arms into Eagle Pose.

If you find yourself struggling and tipping over too much to effectively practice Eagle Pose, start by standing next to a wall. Use your hand against the wall to help you maintain stability until you are able to remove it and balance on your own.

Here are the steps for learning how to do Eagle:

1) Standing tall, bend your knees slightly, left your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left leg over the right leg. Point your left toes toward the floor and , if possible, hook the top of the left foot behind the right calf. Balance on your right foot.

2) Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left.

3) Bend your elbows and snug right elbow into the inside of left elbow.

4) If possible place palms together and gently press hands upward while pulling shoulders down.

5) Breathe and hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

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