How to Eagle: Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy

In the ‘Hard Yoga Poses Made Easy’ series, we focus on a particular yoga pose or skill that seems (or is) very difficult and we make it a lot easier by breaking it down into actionable, realistic, and sequential steps.

In this tutorial, we build up to full eagle pose in five steps, piecing the pose together as we go.

Full Eagle Pose has a lot of things happening at once, mainly a bind in the upper body, and bind in the lower body, and one-legged balancing.

To start out, the goal is to minimize variable and give you a pose that a) allows you to set a foundation of strength and body awareness for the pose while also getting some of the primary benefits of it. Enter step 1) Chair pose with a Bearhug (when’s the last time you have yourself a bear hug? I bet you’re due!)

The next steps add complexity, bit by bit.

Step 2 brings the arms into a half-bind and introduces a one legged balance without a bind.

Step 3, the arms stay as in step 2 and the legs move into a half bind.

Step 4, legs the same, arms into a full bind.

Final step, arms in full bind, legs in full bind (aka the full pose).

If you followed the steps closely, you’ll notice that the progression alternates between skills and range of motion development in the upper body and lower body.

When we add complexity to the upper body, the lower body stays the same as the previous step, and vice versa.

This approach is how to truly ingrain yoga poses and, honestly, any other acquired skill. Bite size pieces that progress upon the previous step won’t be as gratifying in the short run, but you’ll ultimately get to your goal a lot quicker and maybe learn something along the way.

The bonus here is you’re giving yourself bear hugs all the way through, which isn’t a bad step to add every now and then.

Start using yoga to live athletically:

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

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About the Author:

Joe is the Founder of Icewater Yoga. Fascinated by the intersection of yoga and sport, his goal is to help athletes develop a consistent yoga practice. He lives in Claremont, CA with his wife, Jill.