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Pose of the Month – May – by Emma Després

Garudasana

May is most definitely the month to be inspired and energised by the vitality of nature. You cannot help but feel awakened and enlivened when you immerse yourself in its Spring beauty – here in Guernsey the rich brown Guernsey cows just look simply stunning within the lush green landscape while the colourful hedgerows literally take one’s breath away – how lucky are we to enjoy this all for free, Nature’s abundant present-moment gift to us all.

Our yoga practice can of course inspire, energise and help us to remain present too. Garudasana, Eagle pose, is a fabulous pose to practice to embody all of these elements as we attempt to balance on one foot while trying to twist arms and legs around one another, no easy feat because we can often feel really constricted and awkward and can find it all a little tiring!

To help us practice this pose, it helps to consider the myth behind its name. In Tibetan traditions, the garudas are considered a magical species – they are often described as outrageous because of their extraordinary ability to fly and never land because they never get tired, and all because they learn to ride the wind.

Riding the wind simply means riding the flow or energy of any situation or challenge, remaining open to what is occurring and finding a way to become spacious, stable and steady within any situation, without resistance. When you resist you are more likely to get tired and give up.

So this pose encourages us to stay present to what is happening, to open to possibilities, even when faced with obstacles such as simultaneously twisting and balancing, and to ride the energy of the pose thereby helping to leave us feeling energised, inspired and enlivened, just like nature!

Benefits

Helps to loosen wrists and shoulders

Strengthens and loosens the ankles and hips

Releases tightness between shoulder blades and across the sacrum

Cultivates confidence

Strengthens the legs

Improves balance and concentration

Helps to prevent cramps in the legs and improves circulation

Removes stiffness from shoulders

Contraindications

Plantar fasciitis

Knee problems

Ankle injury

Shoulder injury

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