Garudasana - The Eagle
Garuḍa गरुड: eagle, shaped like the bird garuda, coming from or relating to garuda, building shaped like garuda, mantra against poison, emerald.
This posture allows an unusual exploration of space, with a feeling of flying in a motionless space. Quite quickly, it provides beautiful sensations.
First, point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot.
Then, the arms are stretched, knees slightly bent and fingers stretched upward. The eyes are fixed on a virtual or real point and remain so throughout the posture.
The breathing stabilizes and goes to an energetic breathing. The belly should not move. The mantra Ham is silently repeated during inhalation and Sa during exhalation. The focus is on the heart center and on the balance. Two or three minutes are dedicated to this first phase.
Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms 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. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.
The posture is held in this way and with the same principles as Phase I for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Undo the pose and repeat it on the other side.
Garuḍa is one of the three principal animal deities in the Hindu Mythology that has evolved after the Vedic Period in Indian history. The other two are Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of the goddess Durgha, and Hanuman, the monkey god. He is the mythic eagle "devourer (sun)", son of Kasyapa and Vinata, brother of Aruna. At birth he frightens the gods with his shining. He is kind of birds and destructor of snakes for which he is starving (Nagantaka, Nagasana). Kasyapa shows him in the bottom of a lake an elephant and a turtle fighting for an inheritance, which he devours. He stole the ambrosia [amrita] to give it to the snakes that were holding his mother prisoner. However, through a [ruse] he allowed Indra to take it back. He is the vehicle [vahana] of Vishnu from whom he obtained immortality if he did not drink the amrita. He is the father of Valmiki and Dipaka. He protects fishes (see Tarksya and Vainateya).
Garuda is depicted as having a golden body, white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak and wings but a man's body. He wears a crown on his head like his master, Vishnu. He is ancient and huge, and can block out the sun.
He is also described as golden-winged, with an expanse of 3,360,000 li, carrying the ruyi pearl or talisman on its neck; among other accounts one says it dwells in great trees and feeds on snakes or dragons. The association of the garuda, like the phoenix, with fire makes it also a symbol of flame.
Outside reference: Garuda - Encyclopedia Mythica.
This posture is linked to the heart center as well as to the preserving aspect of the divinity.