Take three deep conscious breaths. Feel your chest expand and shrink as you inhale and exhale. Close your eyes if you feel the need (I do), silence your mind, let it go…
Did you do it?
Inhaled twice? OK, that’s a start. Do you feel better?
Want to regain that sense of calm awareness again? Well you could take another three deep breaths or learn eagle pose.
In an effort to bring yoga back into my life and yours I signed up to participate in Yoga Pose May, a blog wide (122 bloggers!) yoga sensation hosted by Tina and Kate.
For eagle pose you need strength, flexibility, endurance and unwavering concentration. But do not fear, I promise to help. If you can successfully take three deep breaths and quiet your mind, you CAN accomplish eagle pose. Unless you have knee injuries because YogaJournal advises anyone with knee injuries to refrain from this pose.
*First stand in tadasana aka stand up straight. Bend your knees slightly. Lift your left foot up and balancing on your right foot cross your left thigh over the right. Point your toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. (Beginners tip: cross the legs but instead of hooking the raised foot and calf, press the big toe of the raised leg foot against the floor to help maintain balance!)
*Next stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Make sure the right elbow is snug in the crook of the left. Raise your forearms so they are perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other.
*Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. Now press the palms together as much as possible. Lift your elbows up and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling!
*Breathe, focus, breath, focus, concentrate. Pick a spot ahead of you and stare. Remember to breathe like we did earlier. Try to stay in this position for 15-30 seconds, then unwind the legs and arms and stand up straight (in tadasana) again. If you are having trouble mastering the balance, you can use a wall or a tree to brace and support your back!
*Repeat for the same length of time with the opposite arm and leg.
I’m so proud, you did it! It’s hard huh? If you fell out of the pose, it’s cool I did too. Try it again, or try with the modifications. You’ll get there…just keep the focus on your breath and the stability and pure concentration will come.
The benefits of eagle pose are absolutely phenomenal. This pose alone will strengthen and stretch the ankles and calves, stretch the thighs, hips, shoulders and upper back, and improve concentration and sense of balance! Eagle pose will also improve asthma, low backaches and sciatica.
I love yoga for its ability to quiet and center the mind. One cannot hold a balance pose, like eagle, if the mind is not quiet. Concentrate on your breath, feel your body balancing, slow your racing thoughts, let it go…