A Step-By-Step Guide to Crow Pose

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Crow pose might look unreachable at first glance, but with a little practice and perseverance it is totally doable!

Not only that but crow pose (or bakasana) is the gateway arm balance to numerous other fancy floating poses. Learn it, practice it, master it and who knows what other possibilities it will lead to.

This pose does require some shoulder strength, arm strength, and core strength, as well as being demanding on the wrists.

A prerequisites for this pose is being able to plank and downward dog without discomfort in the wrists. If you experience this, first things first, practice distributing your body weight throughout the palms in these two foundational poses. Instead of focusing the weight into the joints, spread it throughout the whole of the hand - through the knuckles and fingertips.

Now let's get you into the posture properly, step by step.

*Note: This comes from my YouTube video Crow Pose Tutorial, if you'd rather see it visually

1. Start with your hand placement. Bring the palms flat onto the mat, about shoulder width apart. Spread the fingertips wide. For me, the middle and index finger are pointing towards the top of the mat, though some prefer a bit more external rotation in the arms and will splay the fingers outwards a bit more. Do not start bending your fingers or knuckles. Keep them straight, as you start to shift weight into the fingertips and knuckles.

2. Find a low squat. Take the heels in and turn the toes out as you drop your hips down. For people with less hip mobility, you can skip this low squat, but DO get the feet into this position. Bring the knees to the outer edges of the shoulders.

3. Take a slight bend in the elbows. Be careful here that the elbows are bending back towards you and not out to the sides.

4. Lift the heels up off the mat, coming to the balls of your feet. Start to straighten the legs, bringing the knees to rest as high up the arms as possible (aiming for the armpit, but anywhere above the elbow will work). Once your knees are placed, wiggle your toes closer to your wrists.

5. Start to rock your weight into the palms, rather than your feet. It is totally normal to experience the fear of falling forward here. I've fallen many times, and survived. The most important thing is to get back up and try again!

6. Start to bend your elbows, as if coming into chaturanga (towards you) and lean further forward. Focus your gaze to the ground about half a foot in front of you.

7. Now start playing with lifting your feet. Check that you are holding the body weight in the hands, as you first lift one foot off the floor and hold. Bring the toes back down and try the other leg.

8. Lift the hips up, shift your weight forward and hug the inner thighs towards one another. MAYBE your toes will start to rise up off the floor. If they do, point the toes toward the back of the mat, and lift them up towards your derriere.

9. Gently lower yourself down into a squat. And try again and again as long as you would like!

Using Props:

A) If falling forward on your face is a real fear of yours here, use a block to support your forehead for the first couple of tries. Place a block at the tallest height, a bit ahead of the hands and in the middle. As you begin to rock forward, bring your head down onto the block. Play around with lifting one foot at a time, knowing you're supported. I'd caution against lifting into full crow here as you may injure your neck, but it's a good way to get to know that you can support your weight with your arms.

B) If you have trouble getting your hips up high enough, you may want to use a block at the middle height placed under your feet. From this elevation it will be much easier to get your knees placed high on the arms and then rock the weight forward lifting off of the block.

If you've nailed crow pose, check out my Fallen Angel tutorial next.

Most importantly, have fun getting out of your comfort zone and trying to fly!

As always, if you would prefer to be talked through this tutorial, check out my YouTube video below. While you're there, please do subscribe.


Thanks for flying with me,
Kassandra

Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

    SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!  


Crow pose might look unreachable at first glance, but with a little practice and perseverance it is totally doable!

Not only that but crow pose (or bakasana) is the gateway arm balance to numerous other fancy floating poses. Learn it, practice it, master it and who knows what other possibilities it will lead to.

This pose does require some shoulder strength, arm strength, and core strength, as well as being demanding on the wrists.

A prerequisites for this pose is being able to plank and downward dog without discomfort in the wrists. If you experience this, first things first, practice distributing your body weight throughout the palms in these two foundational poses. Instead of focusing the weight into the joints, spread it throughout the whole of the hand - through the knuckles and fingertips.

Now let's get you into the posture properly, step by step.

*Note: This comes from my YouTube video Crow Pose Tutorial, if you'd rather see it visually

1. Start with your hand placement. Bring the palms flat onto the mat, about shoulder width apart. Spread the fingertips wide. For me, the middle and index finger are pointing towards the top of the mat, though some prefer a bit more external rotation in the arms and will splay the fingers outwards a bit more. Do not start bending your fingers or knuckles. Keep them straight, as you start to shift weight into the fingertips and knuckles.

2. Find a low squat. Take the heels in and turn the toes out as you drop your hips down. For people with less hip mobility, you can skip this low squat, but DO get the feet into this position. Bring the knees to the outer edges of the shoulders.

3. Take a slight bend in the elbows. Be careful here that the elbows are bending back towards you and not out to the sides.

4. Lift the heels up off the mat, coming to the balls of your feet. Start to straighten the legs, bringing the knees to rest as high up the arms as possible (aiming for the armpit, but anywhere above the elbow will work). Once your knees are placed, wiggle your toes closer to your wrists.

5. Start to rock your weight into the palms, rather than your feet. It is totally normal to experience the fear of falling forward here. I've fallen many times, and survived. The most important thing is to get back up and try again!

6. Start to bend your elbows, as if coming into chaturanga (towards you) and lean further forward. Focus your gaze to the ground about half a foot in front of you.

7. Now start playing with lifting your feet. Check that you are holding the body weight in the hands, as you first lift one foot off the floor and hold. Bring the toes back down and try the other leg.

8. Lift the hips up, shift your weight forward and hug the inner thighs towards one another. MAYBE your toes will start to rise up off the floor. If they do, point the toes toward the back of the mat, and lift them up towards your derriere.

9. Gently lower yourself down into a squat. And try again and again as long as you would like!

Using Props:

A) If falling forward on your face is a real fear of yours here, use a block to support your forehead for the first couple of tries. Place a block at the tallest height, a bit ahead of the hands and in the middle. As you begin to rock forward, bring your head down onto the block. Play around with lifting one foot at a time, knowing you're supported. I'd caution against lifting into full crow here as you may injure your neck, but it's a good way to get to know that you can support your weight with your arms.

B) If you have trouble getting your hips up high enough, you may want to use a block at the middle height placed under your feet. From this elevation it will be much easier to get your knees placed high on the arms and then rock the weight forward lifting off of the block.

If you've nailed crow pose, check out my Fallen Angel tutorial next.

Most importantly, have fun getting out of your comfort zone and trying to fly!

As always, if you would prefer to be talked through this tutorial, check out my YouTube video below. While you're there, please do subscribe.


Thanks for flying with me,
Kassandra

Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

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Hey friends, not too long ago I shared with you a tutorial on how to do Fallen Angel pose (https://youtu.be/mrSvULtPCw8) and received a lot of comments from people saying that they were still working on Crow Pose/Bakasana.

Crow Pose (or Bakasana in Sanskrit) is what I would call the foundational arm balance pose. Most other arm balances are built off of this first pose so it's an important one to master if you eventually want to start doing more inversions and arm balances.

When my teacher first showed me crow pose I thought she was crazy and didn't think it would be something I would ever be able to do on my own. It seemed impossible! It took a very very VERY long time for me to be able to do this pose so don't get discouraged if it doesn't work for you right away!

In this video I'll show you how I get into crow pose and I'll give you tips & tricks you can do with a block if you are afraid of falling. At the end of the day you will need to have strong arms and a strong core while also being able to use your hands and wrists properly to balance. Fear plays a big part in arm balances so be kind to yourself and take the pressure off.

Have fun!!


Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe!
Kassandra


Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

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Hey yogis, I was asked to share what my favorite self-help and personal development books and while there are so many that I love, I was able to narrow it down to my top 7 picks.

These 7 books might not be the ones I now believe to be the best to read but they were the most thought provoking and transformational for me at the time. Give them a chance and let me know what you think!

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Some of the links are affiliate links. If it bothers you that I earn a small commission on product sales (with no additional cost to you) then please don't buy from these links.

Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe!
Kassandra


Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
Yoga isn't just about the asanas, and the forms we take when we get on the mat. Living a yogic life requires us to take these thoughts, intentions and mindfulness with us when we leave the studio. For me, a big part of that is reading books.

Whether the books are directly about yoga, in the wellness genre, about the divine feminine, personal development, or even a fictional escape from reality, each book is an opportunity to learn (about yourself and the world around you) and continue to grow. And isn't that what yoga is all about?

I'm a busy bee, but who isn't really in 2017? So when I discovered audiobooks it made getting my reading time in a whole lot easier. I can listen on the stereo in the car while driving to teach my next class, in my headphones during my daily nature walks, laying on the beach on vacation, or as I prepare for sleep each night.

Does it look like the person in the picture above is reading? With audiobooks they could be!

I'm currently reading Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype because you know I love to learn everything about the moon cycle (join me for Lunar Yoga if this interests you too).

Want to know what else I've read and recommended lately? I've shared my list here.

I found Audible, and subscribed for myself. After testing it out for a couple of months, and loving it so much, I thought my readers might enjoy it too! So I reached out to them to get you all a discount code. Receive a free month and 1 free audiobook by heading to www.audibletrial.com/yogawithkassandra.

In the name of transparency, yes I will receive a small commission for each of you that signs up, but I approached them myself and wouldn't be sharing this with you all if I didn't fully stand behind their service. Test it out and let me know what you think, what you've been reading, and books you would highly recommend I check out!

Happy reading, or rather listening!
Kassandra

☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com

Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.



    SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!   

 Typically these blog posts and accompanying videos focus on one area, pose or activity. However this time, I've got an extra special treat for you - a full body yin yoga practice!

Every once in a while we need to give ourselves the gift of a long and juicy practice. With these 10 sweet poses you will stretch the hips, hamstrings, quads, low back and shoulders. Set yourself aside a nice chunk of time to get on your mat, and you will walk away ready to conquer whatever comes next.

If this is your first time trying some of these poses, you may want to head on over to YouTube and check out my 90 minute Yin Yoga Full Class.

Grab some props, a set of blocks and a bolster if you have one (otherwise the blocks will do). Take each pose only to your comfortable edge at first. As you hold these for about 5-8 minutes each,  gravity will take your body deeper as it softens and opens up to the pose.

Since we have got so many wonderful poses to get to today, I'll keep things brief and let you get stretching!

1. Grounded Meditation - Sit nice and tall, in a comfortable cross-legged position. Rest your palms on the knees and gently close your eyes. Take a moment to find your center by shifting gently side to side and front to back. Find length in the neck, as you let the tension in the jaw go and soften the face. Connect here with your natural breath. Aim to remain present in this moment as you stay in this meditation for 5 minutes or so.

2. Straddle Fold - Still seated, unravel the legs and stretch them long and out to the sides. Inhale to find length in your spine first, and then walk your hands forward to fold directly in the center. Rather than straining to get to the full expression of this pose, use a bolster or blocks to meet you at your edge. In order to avoid hyperextending the legs, keep a soft bend in the knees. As with all of the poses to come in this practice, notice how your body gradually opens more as you hold this, allowing you to take a deeper expression of the pose.


3. Wide-Legged Child's Pose - Coming to hands and knees, take the knees as wide as feels right today and bring the big toes together. Drop the hips back towards the heels, as you start to walk the hands forward and melt your heart down. Keep the shoulders from hiking up to the ears. If you are feeling any uncomfortable sensations in the low back, bring your knees in slightly. Feel free to use props here to support the chest or forehead in this pose.


4. Sphinx Pose - Coming forward, make your way down to the belly. Reach the legs out long behind you, with the toes untucked. Bring the forearms flat to the mat, with your hands to elbows in line with the shoulders. Shine the chest forward, as you lift it away from the mat. This is a bit of a back bend, but if you feel any pinching in the back walk your hands a bit forward. If on the other hand you want a bit more stretch, shift the elbows back.


5. Laying Chest Opener - Remaining here on your stomach, shift the body towards the right edge of the mat. Bring your left arm to the left edge of the mat, with the elbow in line with the shoulder. Bend at the elbow, bringing the arm to a 90 degree angle, palm flat at the front of the mat. With the whole arm staying down on the mat here, start to roll onto your left side from hip to ear. Stack the knees and hug them in towards you. Focus on sending your inhales into the place where you are most feeling this stretch. Gently make your way back to center, taking any small movements you need before switching to the other side.


6. Dragon Pose - From hands and knees, step the right foot between the hands. You may want to bring blocks to set your hands on here. The toes of the back leg should be untucked. Relax the chest and let your hips melt down as you open the hip flexors deeply.


7. Swan Pose - From this low lunge or dragon pose, toe heel your right foot over towards the left. Lowering your right knee behind the right wrist. The right heel will either be closer to the pelvis or behind the left wrist depending how open you are. Wiggle the left leg back a bit further. Slowly walk the hands forward to come down to rest the forehead to a block, the hands or straight to the mat. You may additionally choose to use props under the hips or chest for added support. Keep the hips centered and avoid letting the weight drop to one side or the other.

Repeat 6 and 7 on the other side before moving on.

8. Supported Fish or Saddle Pose - From seated, take the legs straight in front of you, or open the knees bringing the feet together in butterfly. Set your bolster lengthwise behind you, or a set of blocks with one vertically between the shoulder blades and the other horizontally supporting the head. Ease your way back to comfortably rest on the props. Turn the palms up and allow the arms to rest at the sides or take them up over head. Alternatively for saddle, come to kneeling. Keeping the knees in line with your hip bones, open the feet to the sides, giving your hips space to shift down to the mat. The heels will be face up and hugging in to the sides. From here the upper body reclines on to the props in the same way as with fish.


9. IT Band Stretch - Reclining onto your back, bend the knees and bring the feet flat to the floor. Lifting your right foot, set the ankle on top of the left thigh. Flex into the right foot and push the right knee away from you. Keeping this figure-four shape with your legs, start to lower your right foot to the left. Setting it flat on the mat, with the right knee pointing up. If the foot doesn't reach all the way to the mat, set a block underneath. Reach the right arm out to the side, to ensure both shoulder blades are pinned to the mat. You may want to grab hold of your right ankle with the left hand for added support. Repeat this on the other side.

10. Savasana - We have made it to the final resting pose. Allow your body to occupy some space as you let the legs reach long and the arms fall at the sides. Melt your body into the floor. Check in with yourself and notice what has changed in your body after these delicious poses. This is your chance to integrate and digest everything that we have done. Surrender.

As I said at the top, if you are unfamiliar with these poses, or would like to be guided gently through them, please do click through to the video below. While you're there, please do take a moment to subscribe for new practices every week.


Thanks for stretching with me,
Kassandra

Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.

📷 Follow me on Instagram! 📷 http://bit.ly/ywkinsta 

Since I started my youtube channel I've gotten SO many requests from you guys to do some longer Yin Yoga classes! It's not that I don't like longer sessions, they just obviously demand much more time to film and edit. However, I've finally gotten around to creating a 90 minute Yin Yoga class for an OMazing mini retreat at home!

This full body stretch Yin Yoga practice will help you open up your hips, shoulders, low back, hamstrings and quads. It's head to toe yumminess! I'm using 2 blocks and a big bolster for this practice. If you don't own a bolster, don't worry about it! You can grab a big cushion or a few bed pillows or even just use your blocks.

I would love to hear from you and know what you thought of this class. Do you like 90 minute practices? Would you like to see more of these on my channel? Leave me a comment below and share your experience!

Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe!
Kassandra


Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.


✦ Bonus Resources ✦ 

Friends, I'm so excited to be welcoming Denise Duffield-Thomas, founder of LuckyBitch.com, to my SOUL Purpose Series on Youtube! This is a very special episode where we talk all about money and our beliefs surrounding it. If talking about money makes you uncomfortable, then you ESPECIALLY need to listen to this interview!

The SOUL Purpose Series is a platform where I interview authors, teachers, entrepreneurs that I admire about their life and their business to hopefully inspire YOU to go out and do what you want to do!

Denise is a money mindset mentor who helps women break free of their money blocks and take back control over their finances. In this interview Denise explains what a money block or a negative money mindset is and how it can affect a person's ability to earn the income they should be earning. This interview is all about refining the way we view money and finances and learning to get comfortable with charging for our services.

FOLLOW DENISE:
Website: http://luckybitch.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denisedt/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/denisedt/

This is especially valuable for anyone who is in the Health & Wellness field such as Yoga teachers, personal trainers, therapists and alternative therapy workers. 

Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe!

Kassandra


Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
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