Start in Tadasana. Bring weight over into the left foot and bend the knee. Lift the right knee and cross the legs, squeezing the thighs together to bring the right foot either to hook behind the left calf or (if that’s not possible), to rest just outside. Take a breath of two here to feel the ground underneath the standing leg and to find a gazing point to help you with your balance. If necessary, tuck the tailbone to keep any excessive curve out of the lower back.
Stretch the arms out to the side, then bring the right arm underneath the left. Bend the elbows so that the left upper arm rest inside the inner right elbow. Cross the forearms and then the hands so that the palms face each other. Press the palms together and lift the elbows. As you feel opening across the back or the shoulders and upper back, fill that space with your breath and let go of tension. The stacking of arms and legs in Eagle should always be opposite so that whichever side leg is on top is also the arm which is underneath.
For more toning and strengthening of the legs, you can sit down more deeply into the legs and for more opening across the upper back and shoulders, you can lift the elbows away from the floor and more the hands further away from the head. Beginners can practice taking either just the leg portion or the arm portion of Eagle in order to gain familiarity and comfort with the pose.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!