Garudasana means Eagle posture, it´s also the name of the king of the birds.
The vehicle of Visnu.
The asana develops the ankles and remove stiffness in the shoulders. This is why it can be effective in cases of “muscle-contraction headaches” because it can release the muscle-tension in critical areas around the neck, shoulders and chest.
It´s also good if you want to have access to your lower back and buttocks without the tension created in case you have “short” hamstrings.
Be careful if you have any shoulder injury, more specific: rotator cuff problems. And remember, in case you have any specific condition go out there and find a good teacher that, I´m sure, will be happy to guide and help you.
Personally, one of the things I like more about this posture is that I find it one of the most mysterious ones between the standing postures.
Daniel took the photo without knowing anything about the meaning of it´s name. And three little birds are there with me, singing sweets songs. Synchrony is cool, isn´t it?
One of the things I love about yogasana practice is what mister Iyengar clearly says: “I know the postures from yesterday but today I become a beginner.”
This is a huge challenge.
I like to think that what happens on my yoga mat is a reflex of the things that are happening outside of it. I feel it on the good things and also when a challenge appears.
The challenge of feeling like a beginner is important for me.
What I´ve learn through my yogasana practice is that, everyday I am dealing with a new version of myself. Everything changes constantly and if I forget about it, stagnates my practice immediately.
I love those days when I feel clean, fresh and new not only after the practice but before.
Those days when I am open to the adventure that I can see ahead of me and when, even though I know how to begin, I never know how it will end.
I love when I feel like I am open to find new ways to approach to the “problems” that the practice puts in front of me and that, instead of taking the regular way, I allow my self to experiment and create new points of view. I love when I feel creative. Makes me feel that I am growing.
One of the goals of the yoga practice is to go beyond our egos and, even though I am crushing with my ego constantly, I like to think that, when I feel inspire and creative I am going further in my experience of myself re defining my own limits because, rather than undergo regular mental processes -that do nothing but to strengthen the ego- I can find a new way of dealing with myself, my “problems” and my experience.
It´s beautiful because keeps me humble in front of the beauty and it´s not only my mind that opens, it is my body and my heart also.
During the last months I have been meeting a lot of people that doesn´t practice yoga at all and, many of them are athletes or have a strong passion for climbing, running or skiing. Meeting them have been really inspiring for me because I have seen that behind the physical discipline that any sport requires, we can find a lot of really interesting points of view about life, mind and existence.
Maybe for some of you the connection it’s obvious. If this is the case, I encourage you to analyze what hides behind obvious, it can be interesting. All of this, at least for me, has been a really interesting discovery. J
There are many difficult postures. It took me years to do something closer to a “proper” padmasana, sirsasana or sarvangasana. Even tadasana is a real new experience every day of practice. For some, maybe that is one of the qualities that makes Yoga practice different: It never ends. No matter where you are in practice, there is always a way to go deeper, to go a little bit further. At the same time, all of us –yogis and yoginis– feel grateful for being able to have a new practice every day. I feel stuck and then the flow begins again. Stuck again, for a while… Maybe is in just one posture, maybe one part of the body that doesn´t respond, maybe some injury that brings humbleness. And then the flow of energy that makes me feel light and full of energy again. The funny thing is that, usually, the part of “my body” that feels stuck more often is my mind. And this is not always easy to see: Old ideas running in circles inside of myself.The feeling that I am not good enough. The feeling that -for being good enough- I have to practice more. That, for going deeper and be awesome, I have to achieve that posture that is so difficult and that already created a type of trauma in myself so, every time I try to practice it, the feelings of fear and dissatisfaction paralyze me. Sometimes it is the feeling that I have to look better; I have to have many things that would “make” my life easier and happier. Also, there is the victim feeling, of course! Or as Pascal Bruckner calls it: The self-proclaimed martyr. A person who sees plenty of people resposible for his condition, but never himself. Sometimes is just one of those conditions, sometimes all the insecurities appear in front of my eyes and I can see how the self confidence starts to disappear until all the good things that I thought about myself are the size of an ant. And the insecurities are a mountain beside it. But then, I don´t have to climb every mountain. At least not today. As I learnt from my skiers friends, all depends on the weather conditions. Sometimes its perfect weather to go outside and climb. Sometimes, its better to stay at home, resting, preparing the mind to the challenge that you know will come tomorrow, or the day after, when the weather, instead of pull us backwards, will help us to move. Because everything is changing all the time: The weather, the ants, the mountains and, happily, the way I feel about myself.
During the lasts days of March, I went to the north of Norway –where the mountains drown in the sea- with Andreas Fransson and the Salén brothers: Bjarne and Morgan.
We lived together during three weeks of intense work (mostly for them).
If you asked them what they do in life, probably they will answer something like:
Well, we research about different un-skied mountains and go there, we climb them and ski them down for the first time.
Because, yes, a day of work implies that, after checked weather conditions, they put on all their magical, resistant and colorful clothes, fasten their harnesses and backpacks full of mysteries and then, jump into the car to go the closest they can to the mountain chosen for that day.
Once at the base of the mountain they start walking-climbing it up and, when they finally reach the summit, I imagine them sitting and enjoying the view for a while, eating something -just for the adrenaline to come up a little bit more- until finally the best moment of the day comes: the moment when they jump into the void, flying down the hill into the known-unknown, trying to be one with the snow, trying to conquered the mountain but also, sometimes –when things fall apart- trying to conquered their ego and life itself.
After those weeks with them I understood the metaphor.
Not only mountains can fall apart. “Avalanches” sometimes are made of something more than just snow.
Because now, I feel a big part of myself is dying.
It seems like I´m leaving behind a chapter, I´m moving forward and further inside this book. It seems like a part of me is disappearing giving space for the new that´s coming. And it seems like something big.
My friends deal, every day of their life with risk, adrenaline, velocity, cold and loneliness. They are truly adventurers. And they helped me to understand the metaphors of life. The symbols behind everything we do.
For them, real mountains are there to go and conquer them. But for me those mountains are a reflex of what, sometimes, I live inside of myself. And have the chance to see them conquering everyday a new mountain, makes me feel admiration for them and makes me feel inspired to go and try it on my own.