February: Crow Pose

I like to think of crow pose or bakasana, as a gateway arm balance. It’s the first arm balance that I tried and was able to do. It made me feel so strong and focused! Being able to get into this posture gave me the confidence to explore other arm balances, which made my practice grow in strides! Crow has many variations and many benefits. Mainly, it will help to strengthen your arms, wrists and core. Here are some tips to getting into crow:

  1. Place your hands on your mat, shoulder width apart with your fingers spread wide. Make sure you distribute your weight evenly across your hands so that you don’t favor one side and possibly cause any damage or injury to your body.

  2. Squat down and place your knees as high up into your armpits as you can. If you need to start with a block underneath your feet to make it easier to get your knees higher, then do so.

  3. Squeeze everything in together! Press your knees into your upper arms, engage your inner thighs and draw them towards each other. Pull your elbows in and firm up your triceps. Don’t let your arms flap out to the sides, keep it tight!

  4. Focus your gaze in between your hands on your mat to help keep your balance and begin to lean forward, drawing your elbows over your wrists.

  5. Round your upper back and press your hands firmly into the mat, remembering to distribute your weight evenly all over your hands.

  6. Lift your hips into the air and slowly begin to lift one foot at a time continuing to engage your muscles and squeeze everything in towards your core.

 If you are, like I was, nervous to attempt crow because you fear falling on your face (like I did), you can always place pillows in front of you to catch your fall or place a block where your forehead will land when you lean forward so that you can use it to balance. When you are feeling more confident in your posture, you can slowly begin to lift your head off your block. Once you get more comfortable with your posture in crow, you can try other variations of it like side crow or baby crow. The possibilities are endless!

Happy Flying!