Crow pose, or bakasana in Sanskrit, is an arm balance a core strengthener. You will gain strong wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and upper back if you practice this on a regular basis. It is a great opportunity to throw yourself off balance and have some fun.
There are a couple of stages to this posture and you want to approach them with a fun-loving attitude and positive thoughts.
It is an advanced pose recommended. Avoid this pose if you are pregnant or have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Optional: Grab a yoga block to assist you with this pose.
Prep Exercise: Practice bakasana on your back first!
1. Lay down on your mat. Bend your knees and draw them up towards your torso. Rock back and forth massaging your back.
2. Now, bring the arches of feet together and widen knees. Lift your tail bone up toward the sky. You should feel your abdominal muscles instantly engaged. Remember this sensation and action so we can copy it in the full balance pose.
3. Bring arms up and palms flex back to hold up the ceiling. Then draw your hands so that your elbows are inside your knees. It is different so your knees might meet higher or lower arm.
4. Practice squeezing legs in towards arms while pressing arms out towards legs. Then, point toes. Breathe a few breaths and keep your neck long. Now, we will transition to the balancing version.
5. Optional Transition: Cross ankles and grab the outer edges of the feet. Keeping hands on feet, rock back and release hands.
Here we go, let’s learn the full Bakasana now!
Grab your block.
1. Step onto the Block.
Step onto the block with your toes like a perch. You can use your fingertips to help you balance.
2. Recreate the Crow Position
What we practiced on our back, bring your elbows inside your knees. Begin to breathe. Plant your palms down on the mat. Spread those fingertips wide. Draw your shoulders away from the neck and draw the navel up towards the spine.
3. Slightly straighten the knees and walk forward on the block.
Lift the hips.
Bring a little weight into the hands as you raise your hips, slightly straightening the legs. Take a few steps towards your hands on the block.
4. Test where the knees meet
Keeping the neck nice and long lace your knees on the upper arm and identify where they meet on your arm. Your arms will softly bend. Leave your toes on the block. Importantly, send your gaze forward which will also help balance the weight and avoid a somersault mistake. Take a deep breath in here and then exhale release your knees and hips and come back to the first squat position on the block.
5. Repeat with lifted feet.
Take a deep breath. Exhale and begin weight back into palms on the mat. Now, bring hips up and place your knee on the bent arms. You can explore bringing them higher up on the arm if you choose to. Breathe and lift one toe up. Exhale release to back to the block. Repeat with the other toe. Take a rest stretch the wrists.
Then repeat the position but this time inhale and lift both toes. Exhale release back to the squat position.
Trust yourself and have a little fun with bakasana you will surprise yourself!