HOW TO: Eagle Arms

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Eagle Arms, is the arm portion of Eagle Pose or Garudasana, which is a standing, balancing pose.  I love this pose as a warm-up or cool-down to any yoga sequence, or just done by itself.  The great thing about this pose is that it can be done at the office, or while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV.   It feels oh so good on the upper back so try it out if you’re feeling tension in your shoulders or back, or if you just want to improve flexibility in your upper back.

Instructions:
Begin sitting cross-legged on your yoga mat (or you can do this standing or sitting in a chair)

Inhale and lift your arms out straight in front of you with your palms facing up towards the ceiling

Then cross your arms in front of you bringing your right arm under your left and bringing the left elbow on top of the right elbow.

Further entwine your arms so that you can bring your palms together.

Lift your elbows to intend to bring them in line with your shoulders.  Only lift as high as you can, don’t force it if it’s too difficult.

Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and then repeat on the other side.

Modifications:
If you cannot bring your palms together, bring the backs of your hands together

Benefits:
Stretches the upper back and shoulders

Improves posture and can help correct a rounded upper back and shoulders

Provides relief to upper back and shoulder pain

Calms the mind and helps relieve stress

Gently stretches the knees, hips and shoulders (if in a cross-legged position)

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