The crow pose in yoga is known as Kakasana in Sanskrit. There is also a similar pose in yoga called Bakasana or crane pose in English. All these poses are exercised to balance the arms. In Kakasana, Kaka means crow and asana refers to pose, so it is a crow-like pose, in which our hands work as the legs of the crow and our legs seem like the wings of it.
By performing the crow pose, You can get better control of your hands.
1. Crow Yoga Preparatory Poses
Before performing the crow Pose in yoga, you should be properly warmed up with some gentle stretches and wrist warm-ups.
You can also perform some core-strengthening exercises like Boat Pose or Plank Pose, Four-Limbed staff pose, lizard pose, etc. You will get the details about these preparatory poses below this article itself. These exercises will help you to strengthen and warm up your triceps and wrist.
2. Execution of Crow Pose in Yoga
You should execute the Crow Pose, dividing it into multiple stages. The stages are shown below.
- Start with the standing position on your yoga mat having your feet together.
- Now bend down keeping the palms of both hands together on the mat.
- Keep your both legs straight and hips up.
- Bend your knees keeping them beside your hands, Ensure that both hands are between your knees and both elbows straight.
- Keep your triceps down your shins in a way that the midpoint of your triceps should be aligned with your knees.
- In the alignment mentioned above for the hands, Bend your elbow and spread your palms slightly forward.
- Bend a little forward. You should keep your spine straight.
- Up your heels toward your hips.
- Now keep your hands closer to your feet and your knees on the midpoint of your triceps.
- Lift the ankles, and shift your weight forward.
- lift the body keeping the weight on the triceps and toes.
- Ensure that the pose remains compact from the sides toward the center, from the front to the back, and from the back to the front.
- Bend your body more forward. Elevate your pelvis by raising your heels and coming onto the tips of your toes.
- Squeeze your inner shins against your upper arms while resisting your arms against your shins.
- Keep the full weight of your body on the triceps.
- Your face should be toward the ground and your head still. Maintain the force on the abdominal muscles. Stabilize the pose just before your feet leave the floor.
- Lift one foot off the floor without disturbing the rest of your body. As the foot comes off the floor, bring the heel closer to your buttock, shift your weight forward
- Ensure your hips remain level as the foot lifts off, maintaining firm contact with the remaining toes pressing into the floor.
- When your one foot is off the floor, raise the second foot to meet it.
- With both feet off the floor, lengthen your shinbones toward your ankles and lift your heels toward your buttocks.
- Straighten your elbows.
- Broaden your upper back away from your spine.
- Squeeze your inner shins against your arms while lengthening from the inner knee to the inner heel.
- Project the inner heels and big toe bases away from your knees, keeping your feet firmly together.
- Hold the full body weight on the palms, pushing your fingers down.
- Maintain the balance on your wrist lifting the wrist bones.
- Try to be in the same pose as long as you can balance your body. Since this pose needs practice to get the balance on your hands.
- Revert by keeping the first leg on the ground followed by another leg.
You can also start this pose by being in the position of downward-facing dog pose. The downward-facing dog pose is a lunge pose, to practice the downward-facing dog yoga pose you can refer to the following link https://icytales.com/how-to-do-the-lunge-poses-in-yoga/
3. Benefits of Crow Pose in Yoga
The Crow Pose in yoga offers many physical and mental benefits. Here are some of the advantages mentioned in practicing the Crow pose.
- Crow Pose is performed to balance your hands. It strengthens your arm muscles, including the biceps and triceps, as well as the wrists.
- Like other yoga poses, Crow Pose promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety. The focus required to maintain balance can be meditative.
- Balancing in the Crow pose requires intense engagement of the core muscles, particularly the abdominal muscles, helping to tone and strengthen them.
- Learning to balance on your hands in Crow Pose enhances your sense of balance and concentration. It also improved the shoulder width.
- Since Crow Pose is challenging, and progress may be slow, Practicing it regularly builds patience and perseverance as you work toward mastering the pose. This enhances the mental balance of the body.
- Crow Pose primarily builds strength, as well as engages the flexing of hips, and stretching of the upper back, helping in the flexibility.
- The compression of the abdomen in Crow Pose can stimulate digestion and aid in the elimination of waste from the body.
- This pose can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. Since it is a challenging pose, achieving mastery in this can be a significant accomplishment.
- According to Yoga, the Crow pose can stimulate and balance the third chakra (Manipura).
- Crow Pose also can be a playful and fun addition to your yoga practice with it’s other variations.
- The crow pose is primarily used to make your wrist more flexible and enhance arm strength.
4. Crow Pose Modifications
If you are struggling to lift both legs at once, you can lift your first foot once and then the other. You can also get some help while balancing the whole body weight on the hands. For example, you can use a chair or brick for the starting practice.
If you are new to yoga and have issues with the wrist or shoulder, then you should start practicing Crow Pose after taking the advice of your doctor.
Practicing Crow pose with a yoga block, is also a good choice. This will reduce your time to get the command of this pose.
5. Some Preparatory Poses to Perform Crow Pose in Yoga
Before practicing crow pose, you can follow the following poses to warm up the muscles:
I. Core Plank
The core plank pose, also referred to as ‘plank’ is a widely recognized exercise in both strength training and yoga. It is highly effective for fortifying the core muscles, which encompass the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Planks are also renowned for enhancing overall body stability and promoting better posture.
To perform a basic core plank pose:
- Start in a push-up position where your both hands should be aligned vertically with your shoulders. Your arms should remain straight, and your fingers should point forward, maintaining alignment with your shoulders.
- Keep your overall body straight. Engage your core muscles to maintain a neutral spine, avoiding both a sagging lower back and raised buttocks.
- Extend your legs and keep them close together while tucking your toes under.
- Maintain controlled, rhythmic breathing throughout the exercise, focusing on deep and even inhalations and exhalations.
- Hold the plank position for as long as you can, targeting at least 30-35 seconds. Gradually increase the duration as your core strength improves. Many individuals aim to achieve a plank duration of 1.5 – 2 minutes or longer.
- To exit this position, slowly lower your knees to the ground before returning to a resting posture.
If you find it challenging to maintain the plank with straight arms, consider a forearm plank variation. In a forearm plank, your body weight is supported by your forearms instead of your hands.
II. Hold Plank or Boat Pose
Boat Pose can also be called “Navasana”, it is a yoga asana that primarily focuses on strengthening the core muscles. It’s a popular exercise for building core strength, and arm balance. Here are the steps to perform the Boat Pose:
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs fully extended and feet together. Sit up straight, engaging your abdominal muscles.
- Position your hands on the floor beside your hips, with your fingers pointing toward your feet. These hands serve as support during the pose.
- Start by lifting your feet off the ground with your knees bent, creating an angle of approximately 45 degrees between your thighs and the floor. This is the initial half-boat pose.
- To progress into the full Boat Pose, gradually straighten your legs, striving to form a V shape with your torso and legs. Your body should resemble a “V” with your upper body and legs raised off the ground.
- Maintain your balance on your sit bones, not your tailbone. Maintain a straight spine.
- Extend your arms forward, parallel to the floor, and aligned with your shoulders. If you find this challenging, you can choose to keep your hands on the floor for added stability.
- Pull your navel toward your spine this will engage your core muscles. Make the chest straight and open and the sight in the forward direction.
- Hold the Boat Pose for as long as you can while preserving proper form. For beginners, a good starting point is to hold for 10-20 seconds, progressively extending the duration as you become more comfortable with the pose.
- To release, gently lower your feet back to the floor and sit down.
The Boat pose is a valuable exercise for enhancing core strength, toning the abdominal muscles, and improving balance.
III. Four-Limbed Staff Pose
In Sanskrit Four-Limbed Pose is called “chaturanga Dandasana”. This Asana is exceptional for building upper body strength in the arms, shoulders, chest, and more. It also demands stability and precise alignment. Here all the steps to perform this asana are mentioned below
- Begin in a plank position with your hands aligned with your shoulders vertically. Keep your arms straight, and your fingers spread wide, establishing a strong base.
- Maintain a straight body. Engage your core muscles, avoiding excessive arching of the back or allowing your hips to sag.
- Exhale slowly while lowering your body by bending your elbows. Ensure your elbows stay close to your sides as you descend toward the ground.
- Stop when your upper arms become parallel to the ground, and your body hovers just above the floor. Align your wrist, elbows, and shoulders in a straight line, achieving the Four-limbed Staff Pose.
- Hold this position for a little time, Maintain stability and proper alignment.
IV. Lizard Pose
Lizard Pose is also known as Utthan Pristhasana in yoga. It offers a deep stretch and opening of hamstrings and hips.
The lizard pose is one of the Lunge Poses. You can also visit how-to-do-the-lunge-poses-in-yoga/ for detailed information on this pose.
6. Difference Between the Crow Pose and the Crane Pose?
The Crow Pose (Bakasana) and the Crane Pose (Kakasana) are two closely related yoga poses, often used interchangeably due to their similar appearance. However, there is a subtle difference between the two poses:
In the crow pose, the palms of your hands are flat on the mat, and your fingers are spread wide. Your hands provide a stable base of support, and your knees are positioned on the backs of your upper arms near your armpits.
Whereas In Crane Pose, the hand placement is slightly different. Instead of placing the palms flat on the mat, lift the heels of your palms off the ground. The fingers remain spread wide, but the base of support is more on the fingertips than the palms. Your knees are still positioned on the backs of your upper arms near your armpits.
Crow pose tends to have a slightly lower center of gravity due to the palms being on the mat, which can make it slightly easier for beginners to balance.
Whereas, Crane Pose shifts more weight onto the fingertips, making it a bit more challenging in terms of balance and strength.
Both poses require a strong engagement of the core and arm muscles, but the Crane Pose often demands a bit more upper body strength and wrist flexibility due to the lifted palms.
So in conclusion, the primary difference between the Crow Pose and the Crane Pose is the hand placement and the distribution of weight on the hands. Crow Pose has the palms flat on the mat, while Crane Pose involves lifting the heels of the palms, placing more weight on the fingertips.
Beginners might find Crow Pose a bit more accessible initially, while Crane Pose can provide an additional challenge as you progress your practice.
7. Some Variations of Crow Pose in Yoga
Also, there are some variations of the Crow Pose, You can attempt them after mastering the crow pose. Some of the variations of Crow Pose are mentioned here.
I. Side Crow Pose in Yoga
In this variation, Start with the crow pose and then stretch both your legs backward and bend them keeping both left knee and right knee beside the elbow of a single hand.
II. Flying Crow Pose in Yoga
In this variation, Start with the crow pose and then stretch one leg backward on the upside and the other on the triceps of the hand.
III. One-Legged Crow Pose in Yoga
One-Legged Crow Pose, also referred to as Eka Pada Bakasana in yoga, represents an advanced arm balance that extends from the fundamental Crow Pose (Bakasana). In this posture, you achieve hand balance with one knee resting on the opposite upper arm, while the other leg extends straight backward.
IV. Traditional Crow Pose in Yoga
The crow Pose is a traditional yoga pose. In the Past times, it was referred to as Kakasana as mentioned above. The traditional Crow Pose is the same as the legged crow pose. In this pose, one knee is placed on the arm and another floats backward.
7. How Much Time Does One Take to Master Crow Pose in Yoga
The time required to master Crow Pose (Bakasana) in yoga is a variable that depends on individual factors such as existing physical fitness, experience with yoga, and consistency of practice. Several considerations can help gauge the time needed to achieve proficiency in this pose:
- The rate of progress in mastering Crow Pose can differ among individuals based on their levels of upper body and core strength, as well as wrist flexibility. Those with higher levels of these attributes may advance more swiftly, while those with limited strength and flexibility may require more time.
- Regular practice plays a pivotal role in mastering Crow Pose, as with any yoga pose. Practicing multiple times per week, or even daily, can expedite progress.
- Modifying Crow Pose with props like yoga blocks or cushions can make it more accessible and help build confidence during the learning process.
- Seeking guidance from a qualified yoga instructor who can provide instruction and correct form is often beneficial.
This variability stems from individual differences in physical attributes and practice consistency. Yoga is a personal journey, and progress doesn’t always follow a linear path. So depending upon the individuals and the above-mentioned factors, the time to master the crow pose can vary.
8. How to Do Yoga Safely and Avoid Injury
The Crow Pose in yoga offers many physical and mental advantages. It’s considered an arm-balancing yoga pose that effectively strengthens the arm muscles, including the biceps and triceps, along with the wrist. Since it is challenging, and requires time to master, Practicing it regularly builds patience and perseverance as you work toward mastering the pose. This enhances the mental balance of the body.
For newcomers to yoga, especially those dealing with wrist pain or shoulder concerns, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a medical professional or a Yoga teacher before practicing Crow Pose.
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