Garudasana is a quite popular and famous pose for its benefits and also due to its difficulty of balance, it is also a position with a story behind.

In Hindu mythology, Garuda is a creature half man and half bird of prey, also called the “King of the birds”. He is the messenger of Vishnu, the God of preservation. Garuda is then depicted as a huge volatile with red wings, the beak of an eagle and the human body gold in colour.

Garuda is described as the destroyer of the Naga, the mythological snakes that represent the dark and inferior forces. There is not an equivalent figure in ancient Western mythology for which the name of this asana was translated as “Eagle Pose”.



Also Garudasana is a polar asana, this means that it works on the two energy aspects of the body: Yin, feminine, lunar and yang, male, solar. It is therefore necessary to maintain balanced these two aspects and perform the pose for the same duration on both sides.  Generally it always starts from the left side, the side of the moon, receptive.

Let us see how to carry out garudasana step by step.

  • Stand on the mat, place the sole of your feet well on the ground, spread apart well your toes in order to increase the resting base and make it more stable, slightly bend the left knee.
  • Lift your right foot from the ground, by moving the body weight onto the left.
  • Bring your right thigh above the left and, if possible, bring the toes of your right foot behind the left knee (or simply the tip towards the ground with the toes of your right foot and cross your toes).
  • Keep your back straight and check that your pelvis is directed forwards.
  • Straighten your arms forwards, trying to keep them parallel to the ground. Keeping your left arm straight, wrap your right arm around the left (at this point the left arm is above the right) and grip with the middle finger and index of the right hand the thumb of the left hand, or join your two palms together, almost to represent precisely the beak of the eagle.
  • At this point put your elbows towards your chest and lower your forearms by bringing forward your hands, untill you manage to brinng your look just above the tips of your fingers.
  • Keep your eyes open and keep your balance by fixing a point with your eyes.  You are in the final position. Breathe normally and keep your posture and look fixed untill you manage to keep a balance between effort and relaxation.
  • If you are unable to maintain the balance, rest briefly the toes of your right foot on the ground and then slowly resume the position.
  • Exit position slowly first with your arms and only after your legs. Rest for a minute and then repeat the position on the opposite side.


It is an ancient position and as we said rich in benefits for the whole organism; lets see the benefits of garudasana:

– Strengthens the muscles of your arms and legs

– Lengthens and stretches the shoulders, arms and the upper part of the back

– Improves balance and coordination

– Invigorates the nerves and softens the ligaments of the limbs, therefore it is particularly indicated for those who have weak joints

– Reduces symptoms of sciatica and rheumatism

– Develops the mind’s ability of attention and concentration.

– From the point of view of energy, it harmonizes the solar and lunar appearance of the individual.


Garudasana is a great pose but also here we must however be careful. Garudasana is contraindicated in fact in the case of injury in the area of the knee or ankle. It is strictly contraindicated even in the case of accidents or recent prosthesis to the hips.

If you want to deepen and start with the basics of yoga take a look at our ebook yoga for everyone