(Eagle Pose) »
Arm and leg positions: In the previous two columns, we presented first the arm position, followed by the leg position. Practice of the first stage brings freedom to the shoulders, arms and wrists. The second stage creates strength and suppleness in the ankles and hips. This final stage requires balance and brings physical, mental and emotional stability.
COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
1. Stand straight with the feet together (Tadasana).
2. Place hands on hips, bend the knees and cross the right leg over the left. With practice you will be able to wrap the foot behind the calf. Keep the hips and trunk facing forward and the spine erect. If balance is difficult, stand in front of a wall and take fingers to the wall for stability.
3. Maintaining your balance, stretch the arms apart in alignment with the shoulders. Open and expand the chest while pulling the arms apart.
4. With an exhalation, swing the left arm over the right and cross the upper arms above the elbow.
5. Entwine the forearms and bring the palms together. The thumbs should now point toward the face (see photograph).
6. Breathe evenly through the nose while lifting the elbows parallel to the shoulders. Raise the chest and spread the area of the upper back between the shoulder blades.
7. Practice holding this pose without wavering. If buttocks protrude, pull buttocks toward the floor to help maintain the lift of the chest. Breathe evenly and deeply without strain through the nose. Develop stability to quiet the mind.
8. Hold the pose for a few breaths and then alternate to the other side, where the left leg will cross over the right leg and the right arm will cross over the left arm.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.