Garudasana – Eagle Pose
Ringing in the month of September, for me, has always been a lot like riding a roller coaster in slow motion. The ride is unpredictable, bumpy, and sometimes smooth, but the usual waves of elation aren’t experienced or fully realized usually until far after the ride has finished. Through the lens of nature, the seasonal shift looks relatively manageable. We watch leaves change color, we watch them fall, we watch them settle, and then we watch a gust of wind plow through and redirect their journey. It’s lovely coming from an external viewpoint where we as outsiders can relish in the beauty of the transformational process; but what about grappling with the natural inner shifts, the unknown ones whose shape or form can’t be predetermined, scheduled, or perhaps instinctually labeled with such beauty? That’s where the real work begins.
For me, Garudasana is a symbol of this quiet courage needed in order to sustain the self throughout the chaos; a pose that invites you to surrender to yourself (and therefore, the universe) and open up to what you don’t know, while simultaneously asking you to remain present, trust in yourself and the process. Named after the eagle, Garuda’s purpose is to protect creation and everything that falls within it. Inside the physical posture, the arm bind hinders your normal range of vision, asking you to find clarity beyond your own forearms to remain steady, and also opens up the back side of your chest, the side of the heart (you can feel) but cannot so easily see. The legs mimic the wrapping of the arms, and ask for a deep magnetic winding that must be constantly acknowledged and deepened in order for stability to be maintained. When I approach the movement from a place of rigidity, it feels like that bumpy roller coaster; when I approach from a place of embrace, as if offering up a gentle hug to myself, it feels manageable. If we can embrace the unknown and recognize the redirections are all part of the plan, then we reveal the side of change that can bring us ease, if we allow for it.