Unwind by Twisting

This is a step by step guide to help you unwind and detoxify using the amazing pose: EAGLE! 

EAGLE has several incredible benefits, it is no wonder so many instructors include this powerful pose in their vinyasa flows: 

  • Loosens and strengthens ankles and hips

  • Loosens wrists and shoulders

  • Cultivates confidence

  • Detoxifies the system 

  • Aids digestion 

As you come into this pose, surrender to any uncomfortable sensations or tightness you may be experiencing. Although your body may feel tight, awkward, and constricted, draw back to the name of the pose: Eagle/Garudasana.  Try to visualize riding the wind like an eagle and utilize that powerful energy to flow through any situation or challenging pose. Riding the energy of a situation means remaining open to what is occurring and finding a way to become stable, spacious, and steady within that situation... without resistance. When you resist, you’re more likely to get tired or frustrated and give up. But, when you stay open to possibilities, even when faced with obstacles, you may find that your energy renews itself endlessly.  So, allow your authentic self to shine through as you breathe and tap into the energy of light and love. 

Start by laying on the ground first and go one wrap at a time. 

Like all other yoga movements, twisting and wrapping are made up of smaller actions that can be practiced in isolation. Give yourself a hug with your right elbow over your left elbow. Let both knees slowly fall to the right in a gentle twist often called 'Windshield Wipers.' You will want to find this internal rotation of the thighs later in Garudasana, when the two actions will give you the space to wrap one leg over and around the other. After you shift back and forth several times, unpeel your arms into a wide T and then hug yourself again, with the left elbow on top.

Slowly do a few more Windshield Wipers, paying special attention to the sensation of your sacrum broadening against the floor and your back muscles widening between your shoulder blades.

Try to maintain a body memory of Hugging Windshield Wipers as you slowly stand up and come into Mountain Pose. Ground down through both legs and take a deep breathe as you prepare to engage your core and tap into your power. 

All standing poses, including Eagle, are built on the foundation of Mountain Pose.

To prepare for Eagle, begin by standing with your feet directly below your sitting bones and place a yoga block near the outside of your left foot.Put your hands on your hips. Press your pelvis down with your hands to ground yourself and feel a sense of connection to the earth. As you ground down, feel a corresponding lift up through the crown of your head and a lengthening of your spine.

Balance the reaching-forward action with its opposite—pulling your arm bones all the way back and tucking them into your shoulder sockets.

Imagine trying to balance a nickel on your right knee as you slowly lift your knee up to the level of your hip. Bend your left leg slightly, but maintain the long spine you found in Mountain Pose.

Now try to replicate the feeling you discovered in Windshield Wipers: Slightly rotate both thighs inward to broaden your low back and deepen your groins. Then, lift your leg AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE (!!!) & cross your right thigh over your left thigh. Touch your right toes to the block on the outside of your left foot. Notice that the more deeply you bend your left knee, and the more fully you rotate your thighs inward, the easier it is to wrap your right leg over your left.

Stay here for five deep breaths. Clear your mind! Remember that you’re not your thoughts; let everything go and just BREATHE.

Now repeat on the other side. 

As you wrap it up, bend both knees and slowly wrap your right thigh over your left. Then curl your right foot behind your left calf, and hook it there.  USE YOUR BLOCK AS MUCH AS NEEDED! 

Make sure that your top leg is not pulling your left knee off your midline and over to the right. If that is happening, it means that your right hip and thigh are not open enough for you to do the double wrap and still ensure the safety of your knees. Go back to the single wrap, with or without using a block. Again, stay here for five deep breaths and feel the stretch through your upper back.

Repeat on your other side.

Remember “Riding the Wind” throughout your entire day! MEANING: How we deal with that moment and how we find our way back to center, every day, again and again—that is the practice of yoga. It’s about never giving up but instead riding the moment and trusting you will find your way!

You have such a BEAUTIFUL practice. Bring this beauty, grace & INNER STREGNTH into each moment of your ENTIRE DAY! 

Comment below and tell me how you're "riding the wind" today!