All too often, in yoga, we focus on the muscles. Or, in Yin Yoga, center on the connective tissues. I love arm stretches because the shoulder girdle, in particular, is very complex.
A simple eagle arm stretch consists of wrapping the arms around each other, starting near the elbows. For a deeper stretch, lift the elbows, and arch the back. If you have a healthy cervical spine, let the head drop back to open the throat chakra.
I find this pose a nice boost for my circulation. It’s almost like a mini self-massage, releasing tension in the neck, upper back. Those are precisely the areas where many of us accumulate stress. Since my motto is yoga, any time, any place, this is a great picker-upper that can be practiced in an airplane, in a check-out line or at your kids’ soccer game.
Judith Hanson Lasater is a yoga therapist and a physical therapist. With a rich tradition stemming from Iyengar, she is possibly one of the best authorities on yoga for pregnant women. She has an interesting suggestion for this pose. “Shoulder openers like Garudasana (Eagle Pose) … can help prepare mothers for carrying and nursing their child.
Just like with any other new diet or work out plan, consult a yoga therapist to determine what is best suited for your particular physical and emotional wellbeing.