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.

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