Why you should try Crow pose (Bakasana)?
The entire weight of the body is supported by the hands in this hard yoga pose, which mimics a crane standing in the water, ready to catch prey (or looking at the baby-see the small picture).
Crow pose (Bakasana) develops the arms and abdominal muscles in particular, as well as improving balance and attention.
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Step by step instruction
- We squat with the inner edges of our feet a few centimeters apart from Tadasana. Support your heels on a thinly folded blanket if you can’t maintain them on the ground in a squatting position.The body is slightly bent forward, between the inner sides of the thighs, and the knees are wider than the hips.Stretch your arms forward, bend your elbows, and firmly plant your palms on the ground, the backs of your upper arms on your shins.
- Comfortably position the inside of the thighs along the sides of the torso and shins on the upper arms, as close to the armpits as possible. We lift the heels and arches of the feet off the ground so that the toes and the area under them (pads) remain on it. Try to lean your torso forward, transferring even more of its weight to the back of your upper arms.We consciously try to strain the front half of the body and round the back completely in this phase of the position. We keep the tailbone as close to the heels as possible to support this movement.
Image by yanalya on Freepik
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- With the exhale, we lean even further forward on the back of our upper arms so that we completely lift our feet off the ground. At this stage, the torso and legs balance on the back of the upper arms.
- If we are ready to go further and are stable in this position, we squeeze our legs together with our hands, press our palms firmly on the ground and with our breath, straighten our elbows as much as we can. We keep the inner sides of the knees “glued” to the upper arms and as close to the armpits as possible. We keep the head in a neutral position looking at the ground, or we lift it slightly and look forward, but so as not to put pressure on the back of the neck.
- We stay in the “crane” yoga pose, balancing on our hands for 20–60 seconds. On the exhale, slowly lower your feet to the ground and return to the initial squat position.
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If you have difficulty lifting your feet off the ground, use yoga blocks or a similar aid by squatting on them so that your feet are a few inches off the ground. Following the instructions described above, we enter the final yoga pose.
Benefits of Crow pose (Bakasana)
- Strengthens the muscles of the arms, shoulders and pelvis
- Strengthens the joints of the shoulders, elbows and arms
- Stretches the upper back
- Strengthens the abdominal muscles
- Opens the groin
- Tones the abdominal muscles
- Eliminates depression
- Raises blood pressure
- Encourages physical and mental balance
Contraindications, warnings and precautions:
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- High blood pressure
- Problems with the blood vessels of the head
- Problems with the joints of the hands and elbows
5 Variations of the Crow Pose
There are many variations and modifications of the crow pose for both beginners and advanced yogis. Practice advanced variations under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
- To enter Bakasana as a beginner, place a blanket or pillow on top of the mat. Start by being lazy, but first lower your head on a blanket or pillow. Free up space for your knees in your armpits and start stepping your feet forward. Slowly lift your head off the ground and, from here, enter the pose.
- Advanced technique for entering Bakasana: If you have mastered coming to the crow from the starting position, try to enter the Sirsasana II pose (tripod head stand). First, enter the tripod position on your head, raise your knees to the triceps and push yourself back into the crow using the basic muscles.
- Advanced technique for getting out of Bakasana: If you feel comfortable and light in the crow yoga pose, you can jump back to the low plank pose of bent elbows and go through the chaturanga.
- Side Crow (Parsva Bakasana): In this variation, you start as you would traditionally pose for a crow. After placing your hands on the ground, you rotate on the balls of your feet so that both knees are facing either the left or right side of the yoga mat. Then lift the torso and balance both legs on one upper arm. Try the other side to stay balanced.
- One-Legged Crow (Eka Pada Bakasana): In this advanced variation, follow the steps to enter the traditional crow pose, but only insert one leg into the armpits and lift the other leg up and behind you, balancing on both arms with one leg in the crow and the other leg outstretched long behind you.
- Baby Crow Pose: Baby crow is a yoga pose that should be easier to enter than full Bakasana, but people who not have strong deep abdominal muscles will find this position even more challenging.
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What is the difference between a crow pose and a crane pose?
In the West, yogis use the crow pose or the Bakasana crane pose. Some yoga schools teach that the crane pose and the crow pose are two different poses, one with straight arms (crane) and the other with bent arms (crow). However, most yoga instructors and yoga schools in the West call the entire evolution of the pose the “crow pose.”
How to do yoga safely and avoid injuries? Proper form and technique are necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of yoga. If you have a previous or pre-existing medical condition, consult a doctor before practicing yoga. Body posture can be changed according to your individual needs.