Yoga for Our Nature Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 6

Eagle Spirit

30 min - Practice


Let the Eagle’s qualities of wisdom, intuition, and resilience sink into your own being so you can see more clearly what it is you want more of. Melina leads a class to explore taking flight in Eagle Pose. Dynamic hip, shoulder, and core warmups prepare us to soar into versions of our Eagle pose, challenging our balance, strength, and stability. You will feel graceful, confident, and courageous.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block


Read Full Transcript

Hello and welcome back for our next adventure. Today we'll be taking flight with Eagle Pose and to make this adventure a little bit more comfortable I hope you can grab a blanket and a block for our practice together. I'm going to have us use our blanket right away and if you open up your blanket into the shape that's that longer rectangle and we'll fold that in a third lift the blanket up fold it back on itself and maybe one more time so you have this sort of long flat bolster like shape. Okay we're going to set that down on the center line of your yoga mat. Send your buttocks to that far end so you're actually sitting on one end of the blanket and when you recline back take a little bit of extra blanket to tuck it underneath your neck.

And when you get that in the right place often times your head will drop back into a little blanket depending on how tall you are and I'd like you to try to have room here for your arms to be out to your side. Let's go ahead and add your block between your thighs in the medium position then send your arms out to your side. With your block in between your thighs if that feels okay for you let your legs fall in to hold the block and if that feels okay in your lower back sacrum area maybe it creates a little bit more width and space as then we'll encourage that sacrum lower back area to drop in to your blanket. And let's pay attention to the different curves of your spine and where they are in relationship to the blanket. Some areas are touching some areas are floating.

If we can get the spine relatively neutral and just take a moment as we get ready for our eagle practice today is to start to slide your arms up a little bit towards the direction of your ears like you're starting to expand your arm wing width. If we know eagles have an incredible width or span in their arms maybe 6 to 7 feet long so imagine as your arms are starting to get closer to the ears that you're getting even more lift more length from your mid back out into your fingertips and then just sensing again these big wings lengthening and opening in your back body. Take your arms down again towards the line of your shoulders and chest and now maybe we invite some of the qualities of the eagle or eagle spirit into our own being as we raise our arms up in the air and take your left arm over your right like your wings are crossing and give yourself that hug and within this hug drawing some of those qualities of the eagle the strength, the confidence, the grace, the wisdom and let that settle deep into your own being. Let's open out again with our arms spreading out imagine your arms reach out 6 or 7 feet across from right hand to left hand raise your arms your wings back up and crush your right arm over your left and letting those wings wrap around and create that container for yourself here to feel some of those eagle qualities confidence resilience courage intuitive letting those qualities sink into your own being as we let the arms float again back up to your sides and then sweep your arms your wings all the way down to your side and let's go ahead and move that block out of your way stay on your blanket if you will arms at your side and tip that right knee towards your chest right leg to the sky just a couple of little circles with your right leg on the ceiling the right foot is drawing circles on the ceiling just to get you ready to now maybe hang your right foot on the top of that left knee for your figure four leg position tilt your left leg towards you keep the figure four legs move forward you tip your legs back in just checking that how your outer right hip and D are doing with this variation lubricating that joins right let your left foot land take your right foot down onto the floor and tilt your left knee towards your chest left leg to the sky and let's circle around that left leg maybe tuning into what qualities of the eagle you can relate to today in your practice hang that left foot on top of your right ankle tip back and forth and just noticing are we wanting a little bit more strength or courage grace intuition wisdom what is it you wish for a little more of today so that we're trying to see more clearly what it is we want more of and then as we bring that right foot down bring your left foot down let's go ahead and roll over to any side and we're going to come off your blanket and if we set your blanket off to the sides maybe back into that rectangle shape and then out of your way as well come down onto your back now when you're on your back without any props separate your feet out about as wide as your sticky mat arms up to your side and let's go ahead and do your little windshield wiper leg move or your knees tilt one direction and turn your head the opposite knees go your new direction and your head turns the opposite rock in your body side to side in a way that frees up some tension that might be down that front body and again side to side just bringing in some new fresh perspective how your body is moving today and moving with great care and maybe reaching new heights as we bring some of these eagle qualities with us into our practice and when you tilt back to center now tilt your right knee in towards your chest reach for grab that knee with both hands take your left leg down to the floor and rest your left right foot on your left thigh so open your arms out to your side and start to tip your right leg to the left for a little baby twist roll back to neutral again rolling your right leg to the left little baby twist back to neutral and last time little baby twist when you come back to center please re-bend this left leg so your foot's on the ground for a moment cross your right leg over your left leg now tilt both knees towards your chest and grab your knees with your hands and curl your head towards your knees and curl it to a little ball open your arms back out to your side as your knees move forward left foot touches the ground tilt your knees in grab your knees curl into a ball arms at your side left leg comes forward left foot touches the ground last time curl into your ball leave your arms down uncross your legs and let's tilt your left knee towards your chest grab that knee and stretch your right leg down to the floor but set your right left foot on your right thigh arms at your side and start to tilt your left leg to the right back to center left leg tilting to the right back to center one more time left leg to the right back to center please re-bend your right leg so your foot's on the ground as you cross your left leg over your right leg like you might sitting in a chair tilt your legs towards your chest grab your knees with your hands and curl into a ball legs move forward right foot touches the ground arms at your side grab your legs curl into your ball legs move forward arms at your side last one curl into your ball on exhale and then as we release uncross your left leg tilt both knees towards your chest and let's rock and roll back and forth until you are all the way back upright and now let's turn towards tabletop continuing with our new adventure so now when you have a blanket folded for underneath your knees will be this eagle now looking down from high above as we know eagles are one of the birds that fly the highest so we're getting this new perspective looking down knees a little bit closer than hip distance apart swing your left leg up towards the sky up above you and then take your left knee towards your left elbow left leg kick straight back now cross your left leg over to the right and set your left knee down on your blanket outside your right calf as your hips move back in space lift your right knee off the blanket to send your hips further back in space the head drops between your arms let's take that right knee back to the blanket root your right toes lift your left leg again behind you and lift your hips up and knee up so you're in downward dog with your left leg towards the sky bring both knees back to the blanket kick your right leg up into the air behind you towards the sky right knee to right elbow right leg kick straight back right leg drifts over to the left and right knee lands on the blanket outside your left calf lift your left knee as your hips move back towards your heels and your head lowers between your arms stretching those wings out in front of you and then bring your left knee back to the floor curl your left toes under kick your right leg up in the space behind you and then lift your left knee and soar higher up as you stretch into your downward dog with right leg up let's bring your right foot down and maybe walk in front of that blanket and reach back then and get that blanket out of your way off your sticky mat grab your block with you hold that in your hands and come up a good way for you to standing upright spring your feet hip distance apart keep this wide block in your hands then transfer that block in front of your thighs look straight ahead and whenever you're ready squeeze that block with your hands and raise that block in the air above your head let's take a step back with your left foot maybe two feet so you're on the ball of your left foot back left heel is up and we're in sort of a crescent lunge position keep your lunge but lower your elbows now to the height of your chest and squeeze your elbows in so they're parallel step into your right foot now lift your left knee up towards your chest we'll start a balance this great adventure cross your left leg over your right and come into eagle legs right leg crossing over left let's take your arms down in front of you both feet back on the floor second side take your arms up in the air above your head step back maybe two feet with your right foot keep your right heel up feel that crescent lunge bring your arms down in front of your chest as you squeeze the block with your hands elbows parallel step into your left foot raise your right knee up in the air bend that left leg as you cross your right leg over for eagle legs as you squeeze this block with your hands arms down in front of you both feet on the floor now let's turn your block to the narrow position so your hands are closer together raise your arms whenever you're ready up into the air take a step back with your left foot maybe two feet feel your crescent lunge bring your elbows down to the line of your chest and squeeze your elbows maybe a little closer together straight ahead stand in your right foot swing your left knee up towards the chest bend your right leg get ready to cross your left leg over your right sit down in eagle legs squeeze your block with your hands drop your arms down in front of you and left foot to the floor second side swing your block into the air above your head a short step back with your right foot maybe two feet lower your elbows down in front of your chest and squeeze your elbows parallel or a little bit closer together stand on left foot swing your right knee up cross your right leg over your left eagle legs squeeze the block with your palms bring your arms straight both feet back to the floor now with no blocks set the block aside for a moment feet roots raise your arms up into the air above you step back with your left leg maybe about two feet crescent lunge bring your palms together and now see if you can bring your elbows to touch right in front of your chest step into your right foot lift your left knee up cross your left leg over your right your eagle legs with left foot on the floor arms at your side left foot to the floor mountain pose stabilize your feet your claws there raise your arms up in the air step back with your right foot just about two feet not very far from here bring your palms together lower your forearms right in front of you and see if you can squeeze your elbows together to get that fuller stretch across the back of your your your wings your back body gets that stretch step into left foot swing your right knee up in the air cross your right leg over your left eagle legs squeeze the elbows and palms together wonderful and then go ahead and release mountain pose let's go ahead and grab your block turn to the long end of your yoga mat as you put your block down maybe about the center of your mat see if you can move your feet over to the right so your left foot is kind of kitty corner to a block let's take your wings your arms up to your sides I feel that six or seven feet of stretch from your right hand to your left hand bend your ankles your knees and see if you're in the right spot to put your right foot on top of that block if you're not take a little hop forward so that you can balance here so now as we're here let's go ahead and start to bend your left leg more as you sit down take your arms up your wings up and now see if we might cross our arms so your left arm is on top of your right arm and do that fuller bind of eagle let's take your drifty your gaze towards your fingers towards your palms and then undo your arms let those wings spread as you straighten your left leg one more time bend your left knee as you sit into that pose wrap your arms and the way that feels healthy for you as you sink down feeling your thought upper thighs press towards each other reach up spread your wings and then take your arms down to your side right foot to the floor and let's take a step over to the left so maybe your right foot again is kitty corner to the block arms out to help you balance wings to help you balance as we bend those ankles cross that left leg over the right and root your toes on the block invite a little more patience into this moment as we sink into that right leg and then let your arms reach up big full wingspan and then as we exhale let's this time have your right arm on top of your left arm as you maybe wind your arms around should we invite again back in some of the resilience the courage the wisdom confidence of the eagle into our pose undo your arms straighten your right leg and then one more time doing your arms with your right arm on top maybe your eagle arms left foot resting on that block like it's a big branch and then soar up towards the sky arm down at your side both feet on the floor and let's go ahead and wiggle your feet now wider apart and we can move that block out of your way as you open up your feet maybe wider than your shoulders and maybe when your arms go out your wings go out to the side your ankles are under your wrist from here let's bring your arms left arm over right and give yourself that hug that could be the place to be with your arms some of you will be eagle arms let's bend the knees tilt forward from your hips and let the top of the head point down towards the earth as your pelvis lifts up towards the sky imagine you just saw something that you were looking for down on the earth and you're heading down towards the earth with your head and beak and raising your tail towards the sky spend those legs spread those wings out wide as you come all the way back up lifting up towards the sky and then cross your right arm over your left and give yourself that hug maybe this is the wise place to be for your shoulders or eagle arms again bend your knees imagine you just saw something that you want down on the earth and you're tipping down towards the earth as you lift your pelvis towards the sky one more breath keeping your focus your dristy maybe towards your wrist the earth and as we inhale wings spread wide look back up towards the sky and they'll let your arms come down to your side as you pivot and turn back to the short end of your mat and bring your arms in front of you as you slide your right leg back into your downward dog integrating upper lower body let's lower knees belly and chest to the floor and stay on your belly with your toes pointing straight back and then stack your hands for a moment rest your forehead on your stacked hands once you make good contact in this prone position see if it's okay for you to slide your hands wider apart and let your fingertips now touch the side of your head so your elbow wings are out to the side now please keep touching your fingertips to your head forehead on the ground as you lift your elbows off the floor like you're doing a little bit of flying elbows back down now let your elbows again float off the floor chest stays down forehead down elbows touch back down let's try two more times to see how the arm wings move up and down up and down and then keep your elbows off the floor as you take your hands back by your thighs keep looking down towards the earth having this new perspective and now let your arms reach forward up towards your ears and imagine that stretch from the middle of your back out to your fingertips bring your arms back down to your side by your hips so imagine you're doing that bird like action of flying here looking down towards the floor arms sweep back by your hips chest opens arms reach forward we stretch the back body one more time feeling that arm span that wing spans increasing hopefully with the repetition next time that your arms are out in front of you let your arm stay in front of you inside your right hand in front of your chest and we're going to roll all the way over onto your back and onto your mat if you've drifted somewhere else when you are on your back if you will take your flat block and insert that underneath your hips a little insert a little bit of lift of the hips so we're in that bridge pose position here let's see if we're on our back in this way if we drop our arms out to the sides let that back of the heart area soften in towards the floor a sense of sinking in through the sternum bone the abdomen and just a general sense of ease as we turn the eyes inward now and maybe the dristy the gaze is towards the direction of the actual heart of the lungs as we take a few moments just to simply become more aware of your breath and the spirit of the practice in what way can we continue to welcome the qualities of the ego spirit into our own being that confidence the strength the wisdom the resilience to continue to reach new heights in our practice on the mat and off the mat maybe we channel some of that ego spirit here with this breath let the knees tip in towards your chest area for a moment for that leg work we might appreciate a moment or two with your legs up in the air feet perhaps a little bit apart as you press your heels towards the ceiling taking that moment keeping the back of the heart soft legs strong you know we'll let the knees bend when you're ready and let your feet again once once again touch the earth touch the ground as we raise the pelvis up and set that block to the side maybe stretch your legs now to the floor for a little bit of grounding in shavasana just a little checking in with yourself here and what way might you spread your arms your wings so your back body feels really spacious back of the heart soft and then with your eyes maybe drawing inward and down towards the floor that jaw releases just bringing ourselves into that more quiet space and seeing if any insights reveal themselves as we do less now and finding this ability here to be still to look within to connect to our higher self as we move into this space of shavasana We'll see you next time. Stay in exactly as you are as you let those heavy wings stay connected to the earth as you allow more air to come in and fill your chest, your belly, wisdom, spirit of the eagle with you as you get ready to put your feet back on the floor and turn to any side that you wish perhaps the eyes still closed and maybe curling into that little embryo shape.

From your side when you're ready press yourself up into an upright seat maybe gathering your blanket to slide underneath your hips even for a short sit so it's easier for your hips to tilt forward and tuning into the props that you need to keep yourself stable. As we let the eyes perhaps find a focal point adristi inside perhaps towards the heart or navel or someplace in front of you like that eagle maybe we hone in our seeing our vision get a better sense as you sit sensing intuitively what do you wish for more of what quality of the eagle might you carry with you into this new day help you reach higher in your practice in your pursuit perhaps to being a kinder human being to become more than you believe you are capable of maybe keep the spirit of the eagle with us as we bring our palms together in front of our heart center may others continue to benefit from our practice namaste thanks for being here until next time be safe and healthy everyone


Jenny S
2 people like this.
Each of these practices takes my mind on a little journey. This excellent Eagle Spirit episode helped with an anxious feeling I’ve been carrying lately. I’m feeling more focused and confident…thanks to our eagle friends and thanks to you Melina 🦅
Christel B
1 person likes this.
What a wonderful eagle flight! Feeling stretched and alert.
Sandra Židan
Great practice, Melina! I've really enjoyed doing it! Kind regards!
Melina Meza
What a treat to take in each of your comments and imagine you all leaving the practice feeling better than when you started. I hope your focus, kindness, and alertness has a positive effect on your day those around you.
Prathiba K
1 person likes this.
A very different practice. Thank you. Loved it.
Melina Meza
Thanks for dropping in Prathiba! Wishing you a safe and healthy summer.
Rachel B
1 person likes this.
This practice was a lovely surprise. I would highly recommend it for a day when one needs a little more self-love. It is nice to see the violin in the frame. So beautiful. 
Melina Meza
Thanks for the sweet note Rachel, I"m also glad you enjoyed the violin in the frame. My husband plays that little beauty. I hope you enjoy the rest of the season.
1 person likes this.
Wonderful! I appreciate how thoughtfully you break down the pose into steps that so beautifully  allow you to feel the subtle nuances of the pose as a whole. It really allows for a deeper understanding of how your body can feel eagle. More balanced and stable and at ease. So inspired! Thank you! 
Anne G
1 person likes this.
thank you 🙏🏽

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