• Opens upper back and removes stiffness in the shoulders
  • Releases tension in trapezius and rhomboids
  • Opens and relaxes the buttock muscles and releases Sacral-Iliac joint compression
  • Develops flexibility in the ankles
  • Strengthens pelvic floor and wards off incontinence

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Counterbalancing Poses:



Arthritis: Go slowly and work gently with your breath


A perfect daily pose that works on two things that daily life constantly tightens: the rhomboids (the muscles between the shoulder blades) and the buttocks. Garudasana is great for the hips and the shoulders while also improving balance. Increase your sense of balance and you also increase the amount and the health of the cells in the cerebellum.


Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight to your left foot and bend your left knee slightly. Pick up your right leg and wrap it around the left, starting from high up in the inner groins. Hook the right foot around the left calf, if possible.


Cross the left arm over the right with the forearms perpendicular to the floor and wrap the hands. If this causes in pain in the shoulder joints, do the variation you see in the photo, with the arms hugging the shoulders.


Squeeze your inner thighs together and lift the pit of the abdomen. Keep your buttocks relaxed. Maintain the lift of your sternum as you spread the shoulder blades apart.


Hold for at least 3 breaths, keeping your breath smooth and even and your eyes soft. Release the arms and legs, straightening the legs to come out of the pose. Change sides.


If balance is challenging, experiment with doing this pose with your back to the wall. Whenever the left leg is on top, the right arm will be on top and vice versa.


You also can do this pose in segments, focusing only on the arms or on the legs. You can easily do the arm work seated at a desk to keep your shoulders from getting stiff from computer work. You can even do the leg work lying down which can be very helpful for sciatica, tight buttock and lower back pain.