Breaking Down the Pose – Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Have you ever been telling your friend about a yoga class you took and been annoyed when their response was “I just don’t think yoga is a real workout”. Well so have we, and we 100% attribute it to people not fully understanding the small intricate movements that force them to work a lot harder in each pose.

Our pose breakdown series shows a visual of the big cues you should be focusing on, as well as highlighting the benefits and risks of the featured poses. Feel free to share with your skeptical friends to help them advance their own practices.

bakasana crow yoga pose and yoga videos online by MyYogaWorks

Bakasana is usually the first arm balance that a beginner yoga student attempts to try out. Arm balances can be scary, especially when one can possibly result in a face plant in the middle of a yoga class. But if you read our last post, you know you can’t be afraid of failure , and Bakasana is a fun and challenging way to combat that fear.  So, give it a shot!

The foundation of this pose is in your wrists and shoulders. It does take some time to build enough strength in those areas so make sure you listen to your body  and don’t push yourself too fast. You don’t need super human strength to get into this pose, it’s more about how to shift your weight and when to engage the specific muscles required in the pose.

From a squat position, plant your palms shoulder-width, come to the balls of your feet, open your knees and bring your knees as HIGH up on on the backs of your arms as possible. Lean forward, look forward, pick one foot up, then pick up the second foot while shifting forward.  You must resist your elbows from splaying out in order to protect the wrists.  Squeeze the heels to the butt and look forward to protect your neck.

Common problems we see students make:

  • Legs aren’t hooked high enough on the arms
  • Weight is on outside of the hands and fingers curl up (causing wrist pain)
  • Combination of too much sweat and not enough friction. It’s a problem, we’ve all been there where you keep slipping off your arms (especially if the room is hot & sweaty and you are wearing shorts). You can test these new sleeves from Guroo Active. They act as a towel and a sleeve for all the arm balances you are having trouble holding.

Check out this online yoga video by Jesse Schein for fun ways to get in and out of Bakasana.

One Response
  1. Ally @thezebrarunner 44 years ago

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