Eagle pose is typically a balance pose, with shoulder blades opening like wings behind you. It’s a nice opener for the hips, shoulders, and upper back. We’ll call this pose perched eagle since you can do it from your office chair.
How to practice perched eagle:
Start out by sitting tall in your chair, and cross your right knee over your left knee, making sure to keep both hips equally grounded in your seat. Now, bring your arms out to the sides, elbows bent, with fingers pointed to the sky. Cross your right arm underneath your left arm, keeping your 10 fingers still pointing skyward. Your right fingers might be able to reach your left thumb or even tuck into your left palm, but if they don’t, no worries. The important part here is to get a nice opening through the shoulders and upper back.
From here, inhale and create a lot of length through your spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the sky. On an exhale, start to fold forward, keeping a long spine. Only go as far as feels safe in your hips, shoulders, and back. Stay for 5-10 breaths. On an inhale, bring yourself back up and exhale to unwind arms and legs. Take a moment to notice any changes before switching sides.
Getting a really happy stretch in your shoulders and upper back might mean some experimenting. Try wiggling your elbows up or down, and your hands farther from or closer to your face, to see where the stretch feels best. If your upper back needs more love, once you’ve folded try hooking your elbows over your top knee and round through the upper back, imagining your shoulder blades spreading like wings.
Questions or concerns? Share 'em in the comments! If you're in NC and want more desk yoga support, Wellness for Desk Jockeys will be back by popular demand in June.