Health Benefits of Garudasana
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
- 2 min read
In Hindu mythology, gods and goddesses often have their modes of transportation (called Vahanas), which are generally mythical creatures. These creatures are symbolic representations of the various spiritual and psychological forces of the deity. Lord Vishnu’s Vahan is the king of birds, Garuda (eagle).
In yoga, the physical asanas occasionally resemble the shape of animals and birds. And just as the vahan has its symbolic representation, each of these yoga poses also has a different purpose which could be meditation, achieving self-realisation, or instilling calmness.
One such asana is the Garudasana, which is a wrapping pose that is practised for self-realisation. Let us explore Garudasana benefits, but before that, let’s first understand what the asana means.
What is Garudasana?
“Garuda” is a Sanskrit term meaning eagle, whereas “asana” means posture. Therefore, Garud asana translates to eagle pose. As an asymmetrical two-fold twist of the arms and legs at once posture, the Garudasana is an advanced yoga pose. It is characterised by strength and flexibility and requires unwavering concentration and endurance.
The eagle pose intends to improve the balance and focus of the individual practising the asana while also imparting postural and body awareness. The asana stretches your shoulders, upper back, and thighs while strengthening your core, thighs, legs, and ankles.
At a glance, the pose might look complex. However, with consistency and regular practice, one can easily master the eagle pose.
Now that we know what the eagle pose means, let us dive into Garudasana’s steps and benefits.
Benefits of the Eagle Pose in Yoga
The Garudasana can be seen as a challenge of balance and so it can be easily deduced that the primary eagle pose benefits are enhancing an individual’s focus and balance.
By drawing the limbs into the body and keeping the knees bent, the Garudasana works the difficult-to-access glutes and inner thighs.
Here is a deeper look at the eagle pose benefits:
Improves Balance: When performing the Garudasana pose, an individual is standing on one leg, and their centre of gravity is lower. This encourages the individual to work on maintaining the right balance.
This is why the Garudasana is a great exercise for those who wish to regain their lost coordination or stabilisation.
Improves Focus: When practising the Garudasana pose, the individual has to have unwavering concentration so as not to lose their balance.
The intention to achieve stillness in this pose invokes inner awareness and instils a sense of calmness in the body and mind.
Improves Flexibility: As an excellent shoulder stretch, the Garudasana is truly an antidote for the shoulder strain you feel when you have been seated at a desk for long hours.
Additionally, involving several joints and muscles in the body enhances your flexibility and improves your range of motion.
Relieves Stress: Of the lesser known Garudasana benefits is that it can effectively rid your body of stress and tension.
Muscle stiffness is a common complaint among working professionals who have a sedentary lifestyle. Practising the Garudasana with diligence can help overcome these aches.
Treats Sciatica: Sciatica is the pain that afflicts an individual when the sciatic nerve is pinched, and it affects the individual’s back, hips, and legs. Prolonged sitting is one of the causes of sciatica as it compresses the spinal nerve root of the lower back.
Of the many benefits of the eagle pose in yoga, an important one is that it can help relieve the pain from sciatica as the pose tones the muscles in your lower back.
Strengthens Legs: In the eagle pose, the weight of the body is balanced on a single leg, which affects the bones in your lower leg, also known as the tibia and fibula.
So, if you are looking to strengthen and tone your legs, then the Garudasana yoga is an effective exercise.
Elongates Arms and Thighs: As our arms and thighs are involved in performing routine tasks and activities, it is important to strengthen them.
With regular practice of the Garud asana, your arms and legs are twisted, which corrects your posture and improves your balance.
In doing so, these body parts are also stretched to elongate your thighs and arms eventually.
Improves Blood Circulation: In the practice of yoga, when you twist and stretch, the blood circulation in your body is promoted. This helps relieve muscle cramps and stiffness, which helps you perform your routine activities with ease.
Reduces Neck and Shoulder Pain: To perform the Garudasana, one needs to stabilise their shoulder and neck. Therefore, this asana is the perfect pose for relieving aches in the shoulder and neck.
Other Benefits: In addition to the aforementioned benefits of the Garudasana, it also helps in:
Detoxifying the body by squeezing your internal organs and kidneys
Improving the digestive system and controlling the bowel movement
The aforementioned benefits of the Garudasana reveal its importance in the yoga practice. However, to avail of these numerous benefits, one must be consistent with their practice.
As mentioned earlier, the Garudasana is an advanced yoga pose, so it is important to know how to do it perfectly. You may also seek the help of a professional in the beginning to ensure you are doing it right.
Here are the Garudasana steps so you can practise the asana on your own:
Step 1: Stand straight with your knees slightly bent, and then lift your left leg to cross it over your right. Try and maintain the balance.
Step 2: Now place your left thigh over your right with your toes pointing downwards. Ensure your leg is firmly placed on the floor.
Step 3: Try and wrap the shin of your left leg around the calf of the right
Step 4: Draw your arms forward such that they are parallel to the floor with palms facing upwards
Step 5: Wind your right arm over your left and bend your elbows such that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor and the back of your hands are facing each other
Step 6: Now, while keeping your back straight, slowly twist your left arm under the right and have the palms face each other
Step 7: Press the palms together and stretch the fingers upwards. The intertwined hands in front of your chest look like an eagle’s beak.
Step 8: Finally, concentrate on a single point at a distance of 4-5 feet. This is now one complete round of the Garudasana.
Step 9: To get out of the position, gently unwind your arms and legs and return to the original position.
While performing the Garudasana, it is important to ensure steady breathing during the completion of one round. To completely reap the benefits of this posture, practise the asana with mindfulness.
Garudasana Contraindications and Precautions
As a complex and advanced yoga pose, the Garudasana must be practised with care. In addition to this, individuals suffering from the following ailments must also refrain from performing the eagle pose:
Individuals suffering from wrist, elbow, shoulder, or knee injuries must keep from practising the eagle pose as it involves twisting these parts
Individuals with twisted or enlarged veins should not practise the eagle pose as it can cause pressure on the veins and cause complications in their condition
Practising Garudasana during arthritis may worsen the pain
Pregnant women must consult their doctor before trying the Garudasana
Being mindful of the Garudasana contraindications can help you take care of your health and practise the asana carefully so it benefits your health.
Now that we have explored Garudasana's steps and benefits, it is easy to determine that this is a great exercise to improve your health. However, despite this, one must note that this is not an alternative to modern medicine.
On the other hand, if you are suffering from any health ailment, the cost of medicines and hospitalisation can dent your savings. To keep this from happening, you can invest in health insurance.
A medical insurance plan acts as your financial safety net so you can focus on your recovery instead of worrying about medical bills in the unfortunate event of an illness. Before investing in health coverage, it is important to adequately analyse your healthcare needs and compare health insurance plans.
Disclaimer / TnC
Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.