How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Eagle Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Eagle Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

The Eagle is an endurance challenge. Although this yoga-with-weights exercise works your biceps and the muscles of your thighs and legs, it really challenges your mind and ability to balance. The Eagle requires discipline, focus, and concentration.

You need both hand weights for this exercise. When you’re ready, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet below your hips, your toes pointing forward, and your arms hanging at your sides, holding the weights with your palms facing forward.

  2. Sit downward slightly, and lift your left leg and cross it over your right thigh, calf, and ankle.

    This is the starting position. You’re in the classic yoga eagle pose. Challenging, isn’t it? Here are some tips to get into and stay in this pose:

    • Pull your tailbone gently down toward the floor and slightly forward.

    • Bend your right leg at the same time as you sit downward.

    • Put one knee directly in front of the other, draping it over the top of the supporting knee.

    • Point your toes down and back toward the calf of your bent leg.

    • Squeeze your inner thighs together.

    Feel your spine gently stretching and lengthening. Make sure that you’re looking straight ahead, your shoulders are squared, and your elbows are slightly bent.

    If you can’t get into this difficult pose, don’t wrap your leg all the way around. Take your leg halfway around, or simply cross your legs. You can also put your left toe down on the other side of your right foot. This way, you can take the toe off the floor to check your balance without too much effort.

  3. Exhaling to a count of four, bend your elbows and curl your arms to lift the weights.

    Feel your upper arms working. Keep your elbows against your body as you raise the weights. Squeeze your thighs for support.

  4. Inhaling to a count of four, lower your arms to the starting position.

    Make sure your elbows don’t stray from your body on the way down. Feel the burn in your right thigh as you continue to squeeze it for support.

Keep both your feet fully engaged throughout this exercise; be sure to press through all four corners of each foot. Concentrating on your feet helps your balance.

Repeat this exercise six to eight times on each leg, take a rest, and then do six to eight more repetitions on each leg.