• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

BIRDNOTE®: The Birds of Yoga

Air Date: Week of

Many yoga poses are named after birds, such as the mayūrāsana pose, named after the peacock. (Photo: © Mathias Appel)

Bird-inspired yoga poses, from eagle to crow to peacock pose, have deep roots in Hindu mythology and philosophy. BirdNote®’s Trisha Mukherjee explains.


O’NEILL: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Aynsley O’Neill.

DOERING: And I’m Jenni Doering.


DOERING: For thousands of years humans have looked to the skies for spiritual inspiration, as BirdNote’s Trisha Mukherjee explains.


The Birds of Yoga

[Calming yoga music]
Eagle pose. Crow pose. Peacock pose.
Each of these bird-inspired yoga poses has deep roots in Hindu mythology and philosophy.
[Changeable Hawk-Eagle call]
Eagle pose in Sanskrit is garudasana. Garuda is a giant mythical sun bird with a golden body and eagle’s beak. His wings have so much power that by flapping them, he can stop the spinning of heaven, earth, and hell.
[House Crow call]
Crow pose, or kakasana, harkens back to a legend in the Indian epic The Mahabharata. Many Hindus believe that crows bridge the worlds of the living and the dead. In an annual ritual called shraddha, people cook a feast for the crows outside to satisfy their ancestors who have passed on.
[Indian Peafowl call]
Peacock pose, or mayurasana, is a challenging arm balance pose. The peacock in Hinduism is a symbol of beauty, grace, and pride. Legend says that the peacock used to have dull feathers, but during a battle it shielded Indra, the god of the heavens. In return, he made the peacock’s feathers iridescent.

[Calming yoga music]
Next time you take a yoga class, breathe deeper, stretch longer, and rise higher by channeling the ancient energy of these fearless birds.
For BirdNote, I’m Trisha Mukherjee.

Written by Trisha Mukherjee
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Editor: Jazzi Johnson
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Content Director: Jonese Franklin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Changeable Hawk-Eagle ML182224751 recorded by Rajiv Kalsi, House Crow ML514775631 recorded by Samim Akhter, and Indian Peafowl ML111560 recorded by Linda Macaulay.
Music: “Element Airborne” by Blue Dot Sessions.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2023 BirdNote October 2023
Narrator: Trisha Mukherjee
ID# yoga-01-2023-10-26 yoga-01


DOERING: For pictures, glide on over to the Living on Earth website, loe.org.



Learn more on the BirdNote® Website


Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth