Crow Pose - Bakansana - The Yoga Collective

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Pose Summary

Crow aka Bakasana is a fun and powerful pose suitable to start exploring arm balancing poses. While this pose requires quite some shoulder strength it is often fear of falling over that holds the student back. Crow allows for bent elbows while the more advanced version of this posture, Crane pose, requires the arms to be straight.

Yoga Collective - Crow Pose – Bakansana

Steps

Step 1

Start in Tadasana and take your feet out to the edges of the mat. Squat down.

Step 2

Stretch your arms out in front of you and place the hands shoulder distance apart on the floor. Spread your fingers wide to get a firm grip on the floor which will ease control while balancing. The middle fingers are parallel to each other.

Step 3

Activate your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and start lifting your seat up so your torso is parallel to the ground. Step your feet together maintaining the knees wide.

Step 4

Slightly bend your elbows, ensure they stay shoulder width apart throughout the pose (so they don’t fall out to the sides) and then there are two options on where to place the knees up into or as close as possible to your armpits.

Step 5

Ensure that your inner thighs are engaged and are hugging into the midline of your body.

Step 6

Start leaning slightly forward, feeling the weight shifting evenly into the four corners of your hands.

Step 7

When you feel the weight is mainly on your hands start lifting up your heels up towards your seat with the big toes together. Alternatively, if you are new to this pose and to get comfortable, just play with shifting your weight into your hands and lifting up just one foot at a time. Your back is slightly rounded and the belly button continues to pull in towards your spine.

Step 8

Find your Drishti slightly in front of you, take a few deep breaths here before you lower your feet back down onto the ground. A more advanced exit of this pose is to press into the hands, keeping the chest elevated so you don’t drop, and jump the feet to the back of the mat into low Chaturanga.

Modifications

If you feel this pose in your wrists you can, to reduce pressure, roll up a mat and place the palm of the hands on the mat and the fingers on the floor.

If elbows fall out to the sides you can tighten a strap around your arms just over your elbows (shoulder distance apart) to keep them in place.

If you fear of falling over place a pillow below your head.

Benefits

  • Strengthens arms, shoulders and core.
  • Strengthens hips and gluts.
  • Improves balance, mindfulness and body awareness.
  • This pose massages the abdominal organs which helps facilitate digestion.
  • Builds confidence.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have any wrists (like carpal tunnel syndrome) or shoulder injuries.
  • You might want to avoid this pose if you feel discomfort and suffer from sciatica, spondylitis or other back/disc problems as the spine is slightly rounded.