Intense Garudasana

This pose is fun and challenging at the same time. It loosens the hips and knees and improves balance and concentration.

  1. Stand with your feet together. 
  2. Gaze at a fixed point in front of you and transfer your weight to your left leg.
  3. Cross your right leg over the left and bend your left knee. Wrap your foot around your calf. 
  4. Raise your arms out to shoulder level.  Bend your elbows.  
  5. Cross your left elbow over the right, wrapping your forearms around each other to bring your palms together.  
  6. Raise your arms to increase the stretch around your shoulders and upper back.  Breathe evenly as you hold the pose for about 20 seconds.
  7. Lower your arms and bring them to your sides.
  8. Straighten your left knee and bring your right foot back to the floor. 
  9. Repeat on the other side, bringing your left leg over the right and the right arm over the left.  

Hints

  • Faze at a fixed point throughout the pose to help you keep your balance.
  • Drop your weight into your standing foot to help you feel grounded.

Easier Options

  • If you have trouble balancing, practice the pose with your back against a wall.
  • Practice each part of the pose separately, entwining just the arms or just the legs.
  • If you can’t bring your palms together, just put the backs of your hands together.
  • If your shoulders are tight, don’t raise your arms.

Benefits

  • Tones and strengthens the ankles, knees, and calves
  • Helps prevent and relieve cramps in the calf muscles
  • Increases flexibility in the legs and shoulders
  • Releases upper back tension 
  • Develops balance and coordination

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