POTW: Eagle

Intro: POTW is Eagle. Eagle is a notoriously difficult pose for men because of their larger frames. People with larger legs and larger shoulders have a lot of difficulty because of the wrapping motion required of eagle pose. When done properly, eagle is a great pose for opening up the shoulders, working on balance, and working on lower body endurance.

Eagle pose starts from a standing position. Raise your arms, and then swing the left hand under your right arm so that your right elbow comes to the crook of your left elbow. You then reach your left hand up and interlace your left fingers with your right fingers, so that palms are touching one another. Raise your elbows up and away from your body, making sure that your hands stay away from your body as well. You don’t want to bring your hands close to your head as you raise your elbows. With your leg, squat down as if you were going to do chair pose, and then pick your left leg off the ground, balance on your right leg, and wrap your left leg around your right leg. Squeeze your legs together, and try to bring your left angle around the back of your lower right leg to rest on the calf, so that the toes face forward on the inside of your lower right leg. Straighten your back as much as possible and sit down deep. Hold for 10 – 30 seconds.

Full expression of eagle:
eagle pose

Modification: Lots of modifications here, so read carefully (and watch the video for clarification). This pose is really difficult for people with a lot of muscle mass, so there’s a few things to do to make this pose accessible to you. In the arms, instead of interlacing your fingers, just touch your fingers to the inside of your palm. If that’s too much, you can grab the outside of your elbow. In the legs, if you can’t wrap one leg all the way around the other, just wrap your left leg over the knee on the right thigh, and point your toes to the right, kind of like a kickstand.

Tips: Make sure that the hip of whichever leg is off the ground is wrapping back in that direction. (i.e. If you are balancing on your right leg, and your left leg is wrapping around the right leg, make sure that you pull your left hip back so that your hips stay squared up to the front.) The tendency is for the hip of the leg in the air to twist in the opposite direction. Also, make sure that continue reach your hands away from your face as you lift your elbows. If you don’t, you will lose some of the stretch in your upper back around your shoulders and scapula.

More modifications: Do Eagle arms without eagle legs! Check out some options in the video below.

This pose is very difficult to describe without visual aids, so please use the video on this page for help.

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