Pose of the week: Crow Pose (bakasana)

For newbies, crow pose can seem a bit intimidating.  Yet, mastering this move is easier than you might think.

After pitching forward from a squat position or garland pose, you’ll need to balance your whole body weight on just your hands, with your knees resting near your armpits.  You need to build up your arm strength, balance and core work but once you have, it will feel almost effortless.  So the secret to achieving this pose lies in strengthening and stretching a few key areas.  To build up to a good crow pose, I suggest doing deep squats, reverse squats and modified crow before attempting this pose.

Modified crow:

  • Get into deep yoga squat, toes slightly turned out and heels on the ground.
  • With your arms between your knees, plant your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart.
  • Elbows pulled in near the sides of your body, then transition onto the balls of your feet, lifting your butt into the air.
  • Lift one foot of the ground, then return it to the mat.  Repeat on opposite side.

Tips for a good crow pose:

  • Back is rounded as intercostal muscles lift and hold legs up
  • Core is strongly engaged and navel is drawn in
  • Knees as high up the arms as you can get them
  • Elbows in line with the wrists
  • Upper body is leaning forward
  • Hands particularly the finger tips and roots are firmly plugged into the ground
  • Gaze is about 3 feet out in front
  • heels hugging up
  • Legs squeezing together

Put  a pillow or some blankets in front of your mat in case you’re scared of falling flat on your face!

Be patient with this pose.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens arms and shoulders
  • Builds abdominal strength
  • Releases back muscles
  • Tones the abdominal organs
  • Opens the groin
  • Encourages body awareness and honing in on the mind-body connection while flying in the air.
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