Eagle Pose for Tight Shoulders, Weak Stabilizers, and Balance

Eagle pose, known as Garudasana, is a great way to open tight shoulders, strengthen weak hip stabilizers, and improve your balance. With all these areas of focus, the pose can be quite challenging. Don’t worry, though. There are ways to make this pose appropriate for people of all levels.

Eagle Pose with the Wall

Even if you have no issues doing Eagle pose, try it with the wall as described below. Obviously, this version is also great for people with balance issues.

  1. Use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Begin on your back with your feet near a wall. You want to get set up so that your knees and hips are at a 90 degree bend when your feet are flat on the wall. This is a lot like Table top.
  3. Take a moment to make sure that your spine and pelvis are in neutral. Really feel your SITs bones angle straight at the wall. As you push into the wall with your feet, feel how your pelvis adjusts to the best neutral position possible. Take a moment to play around with this and feel how pressure with your feet into the wall improves your posture.
  4. Bring your left foot toward center.
  5. Lift your right leg, deeply scissor your inner thighs, and cross your right leg over your left.
  6. Try to press the outside of the right leg into the outside of the left leg while firmly pressing your left foot into the wall.
  7. Keep your shoulder blades on your back and reach your arms straight in front of you.
  8. Cross your left arm over your right, bend your elbows, and join your hands. If you hands don’t clasp, press the backs of the hands into each other.
  9. Take 5-8 breaths here. Inhale to lengthen; exhale to soften.
  10. Keep muscular energy, and unwind your arms your legs.
  11. Follow steps 3-10 to do the other side. Remember, this time your right foot will be on the wall, and your right arm will cross over the left.

Eagle Pose

I like to start my Eagle pose at the wall. This way, if my balance is lacking, I can find out which stabilizers are not working and recruit them. Plus, the stability of the wall helps me lower into a deeper squatted position. So, if you have poor balance, weak hip stabilizers, or are trying to move a little deeper into this pose, grab some wall space.

  1. Use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Begin in Tadasana. Make sure you can feel the four corners of your feet pressing into the mat or floor. Feel pressure right beneath the big toe, under the little toe, and on the inside and outside of your heel.
  3. Shift your weight to your right leg.
  4. Lift your left leg and deeply scissor your legs high on your inner thigh. Use your hands to help move tissue if you need to.
  5. Stick your SITs bones out toward the baseboard behind you as you sit back.
  6. eagle poseKeep your shoulder blades on your back as you reach your arms straight in front of you.
  7. Cross your right arm over your left (make sure to deeply cross your arms), bend your elbows, and join your hands. If you hands don’t clasp, press the backs of the hands into each other.
  8. Take 5-8 breaths here. Inhale to lengthen; exhale to soften.
  9. Keep muscular energy, unwind your arms your legs, and stand up.
  10. Follow steps 3-10 to do the other side. Remember, this time your left foot will be the base, and your left arm will cross on top.

Eagle Pose Video

Thank you so much for reading. If you find my information valuable, please consider supporting this website. With your support, I can gather and share more wonderful information about how to correctly and safely practice yoga poses.

Here is a video for visual learners.

Do you modify Eagle pose in another way? Let us know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter! Also, you can find us on Facebook at Custom Pilates and Yoga and on YouTube at Custom Pilates and Yoga.

Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

Leave a Reply