Focal point in balance poses

Greetings Tias and Surya,

With your training I am inspired in new ways to deepen my practice. One challenge I’m finding is in teaching students balance poses.  For instance, in eagle pose my students have asked me ~ where is a good focus point (inward or outward) visually? With arms and hands in front of my face I am looking to find a place to rest my eyes.
Do you have any thoughts on this?

Shanti,
Leslie

Dear Leslie,

In the eagle pose (garudasana) I think it is best to teach the arm and leg movements separately before combining them, for it is a difficult pose. Teach the arm action in tadasana or virasana. And I think it is best to teach the leg movements when inverted—either lying on the back or in shoulderstand.(I prefer doing the leg action in headstand). By doing the leg wrap when inverted, there is less pressure on the knees. Knee compression is one of the challenges of this pose given the torquing and rotation involved, making the pose difficult to balance in. The gaze can initially be a wide gaze, peripheral gaze. That is the students can look beyond their hands. The next stage is to focus the dristi is to the fingers, and given the short focus, it is more difficult to balance.

May your raptor fly high!

Tias

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