Crow pose is one of the most foundational arm balances we first attempt, and learn to master, in our yoga classes. It gives us our first taste of balancing the body on the hands, wrists, forearms, and triceps; it teaches us to harmonize the engagement of the shoulders and core; it shows us where our hips need to be elevated in space to maintain proper balance; and it allows us to take flight when we gain the confidence to lift the toes off the ground and begin to "fly" like a crow.
Structure is super important in maintaining all of these factors mentioned above. Without proper structure, we may try in vain for months - even years - to figure out how to become stable within crow pose. With proper structure, our awareness is allowed to permeate beyond just putting weight into the hands, wrists, forearms, resting the knees on bent triceps, and balancing the weight of our bodies on the arms.
With proper structure, we begin to realize that crow pose is mainly held through our core. A strong core is paramount to all arm balances and inversions. The improved strength in our core to accomplish more difficult and advanced asanas (arm balances, inversions, headstands, and handstands) does not come overnight. Which is why crow pose is the perfect place to start improving the core, and gaining the self confidence required to move on to more difficult postures.
When we have been working with crow pose for a while, and feel like we are getting the pose down sufficiently, it's time to take it to another step. In this blog post, we take a look at the structure of keeping the arms straight when going into crow pose - Bakasana. As a heads up, this move requires quite a bit of shoulder, arm, wrist and finger strength. We also look at engaging the core, and lifting up and off just slightly before jumping back. I also go through a few moves where we have straight arms, and why it’s important to be aware of keeping our arms straight throughout all of our practice.
With sufficient effort, and above all, time - you will be scoring to new heights in no time!
1. Fingers spread wide.
2. Hands planted firmly into mat.
3. Bring the knees high up into the armpits (paying close attention to the fingers so as to provide counter support so we don’t topple over).
4. Engage the core.
5. Raise the bum up.
6. Get high up on the toes.
7. Lean forward into our straight arms.