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Crow pose – For strong arms and perfect balance

a white woman with curly hair performs the crow pose on a purple yoga mat indoors
Fitness Editor
Julia is a qualified fitness trainer. She writes our articles about nutrition and fitness. She also makes free workout plans for our site.

In crow pose, everything is upside down. Balancing on your hands with your feet in the air may seem unstable and complex, but it’s not as difficult as it appears. Here, we show you what it takes to achieve this advanced yoga pose, from the preparatory poses that will help you maintain balance on your arms to the common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. 

What is crow pose?

Crow pose, or Bakasana in Sanskrit, or crane pose as it’s also known, is an exercise that requires you to balance your body weight on your arms. In order to do this, bend your arms slightly and bring your knees as high up to the armpits as you can until your feet are floating in the air. Your butt should be at the highest point.

Bakasana isn’t as difficult as many other arm poses, but it’s definitely not easy either. In addition to having strong arms it’s also important to have a strong core to maintain balance upside down. Being able to perform a complete chaturanga (which is basically a yoga push up) will help you build up the necessary strength to achieve this pose.

A lot of people, yoga beginners especially, are apprehensive of crow pose for logical reasons: It’s not very fun to fall flat on your face, which you may if you can’t control your balance! If you’re just starting your yoga practice, use modified versions of the pose and accessories to gradually become comfortable with the movements this asana requires. Practice makes perfect with any pose, but especially this one.

Taking the time to focus on yourself and your needs is always beneficial, whether you’re doing it in or out of yoga. If you start getting lost in the stress of day-to-day life, pause and take a moment to do something nice for yourself.

Benefits of crow pose

Crow pose is a pose that immediately benefits both the body and mind. Regularly practicing this asana is key to reaping its benefits.

 

This asana…

  • strengthens arms, wrists, shoulder blades, and core.
  • strengthens all of the body’s intrinsic or deep muscles.
  • improves intermuscular and intramuscular coordination.
  • improves physical balance.
  • improves mental balance and harmonizes the whole.
  • promotes courage, concentration, and self-confidence.
  • provides a feeling of lightness.

 

How to do crow pose correctly

The first and most important thing to remember about this pose is that you should never jump into it. Taking time to find your balance is essential to preventing injuries, in both the long and short term. Whatever you do, don’t rush it. You’ll find that this asana is totally safe and fun as long as it’s performed in a controlled and patient way.

Even for yoga experts, crane pose requires a lot of concentration and confidence in one’s abilities. The good news is that you get from it what you give. Over time it improves inner balance and helps you become fully engaged in your yoga practice as a whole. The more frequently you practice this asana, the more likely those good feelings will continue to last even outside of your mat.

If you want to learn crow pose, these preparatory poses are a great way to prepare your body for what’s to come. While focus and concentration are definitely important aspects of the pose, try not to take yourself too seriously. You’ll benefit the most from it if you approach it in a fun and playful way.

Crow Pose: Tips for Beginners

It’s normal to feel a bit nervous about this pose, especially in the beginning. To assuage your fear, place something soft like a blanket or a block on your yoga mat where your head would land if you lost your balance — a little safety net!

Another way to make this asana a little bit easier is to place a yoga block under the balls of your feet before lifting your legs up. From there, you can lift one foot at a time until you feel comfortable to lift both. This will allow you to play with and better understand what it feels like to transfer your weight in this position.

Crow pose step by step

Breaking down this asana step by step makes it much easier to grasp. These are the steps that many yoga instructors recommend following.

  1. In squat position, place fingers on the floor below your shoulders.
  2. Bend your arms, bend your knees, and bring them up to your triceps so they rest on your upper arms.
  3. Bring your toes together.
  4. Look and lean forward and engage your muscles.
  5. Shift your weight forward onto your hands.
  6. Bring one foot towards your glutes, then the other. Experiment with your balance.
  7. Is everything okay so far? Then lift both feet and find your balance.
A white woman with curly hair performs an effective version of the crow pose on a purple yoga mat indoors
©foodspring

Crow pose checklist

  1. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers wide.
  2. Your hands are resting on the ground, your body is rocking forwards.
  3. Your elbows are pointing backwards and slightly outwards and they’re in line with your wrists.
  4. Your shoulders are as far away from your ears as possible.
  5. Your gaze is on the floor in front of you.
  6. Your knees are up your triceps and resting on your upper arms.
  7. Your chest and inner thighs are engaged.
  8. Your toes are pointed and touching each other.

Crow Pose: Common Mistakes

Any mistakes made in crow pose will likely prevent you from lifting your feet off the ground. This isn’t a bad thing, though: If the asana is impossible to do with mistakes, you’ll never make mistakes while properly doing it.

Even if you can manage to lift yourself up with a bunch of mistakes, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hold it for very long. In the worst cases, you may overload your wrists, which may cause future problems if you make a habit of doing it.

A curly-haired white woman performs a poor version of the crow pose. Her toes rest on the floor, her body is not engaged, and she looks off-balance.
©foodspring

 

Mistake: Your hands are twisted.
How to avoid it: Point your fingers forward. Your middle finger should be pointing towards the shortest edge of the mat.
Tip: They should look the same as they do in downward facing dog.

 

Mistake: Your elbows fall outwards.
How to avoid it: Activate your forearms and shoulders and consciously bring your elbows backwards.
Tip: Your elbows should be in line with your wrists.

 

Mistake: Your arms are passive and shoulders are sagging.
How to avoid it: Push yourself away from the floor.
Tip: Activate every muscle from your wrists up to your shoulders.

 

Mistake: Your knees are too low.
How to avoid it: Bring your knees up higher towards your armpits.
Tip: Are your knees slipping? Activate your core muscles to stabilize yourself.

 

Mistake: You aren’t activating your whole body.
How to avoid it: Think of crow pose as a full-body workout.
Tip: Before doing crow pose, visualize what it should look like. Take time to feel and engage all of your muscles in a targeted manner. Then, put yourself into the asana while keeping your focus.

 

Mistake: Your feet are moving apart.
How to avoid it: Join your toes before even lifting your legs.
Tip: See what it feels like to do a crow pose with your feet apart. Then do the same thing with your feet together for comparison.

Crow Pose (Bakasana): Our Conclusion

  • Bakasana requires you to balance your body weight on your hands.
  • The asana engages every muscle and can have a noticeable effect on your state of mind.
  • Crow pose requires concentration, self-confidence, and lots of practice.
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