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Bakasana, or Crow Pose, is an arm balance with a wide variety of health benefits. Crow Pose, the variation with bent arms, is considered the stepping stone to Crane Pose, the variation with straight arms.

To help you on your way to experiencing all the holistic benefits of Crow Pose for yourself, here's a breakdown of the pose, and the yummy benefits you can expect from it!

How To Do

From Yogi Squat, place your palms down on the mat, with your middle finger pointing forward. Keep your hips and feet close in a tight ball to help utilize your core to lift you up. Use the back of your arms as shelves for your knees, breathe in and lean forward, gazing at the top of the triangle between your two hands.

Transfer weight evenly through your hands, squeeze your elbows in alignment with your shoulders to lift higher into the pose. Spread the shoulder blades, knit the ribs together, pull the inner thighs toward each other, and straighten the arms while lifting the feet toward your pelvis. Breathe out, stabilizing the shoulder muscles, and hold for a few breaths.

For a soft landing, defy gravity and keep the core lifting even as you lower your feet back down to the ground.

Modifications

When your core is tired, you can modify the pose by resting your shins on the shelf of your upper arms, bending elbows out to the side and resting the body weight on the arms.

Starting with your hips higher than they should be can also help you utilize gravity to move forward into your arms. Additionally, a block placed under the feet prior to take off can help give the body a little extra height to make the posture easier to obtain. Blocks under the shoulders can also help balance the body while the arms work on building strength.

It is best to avoid bending elbows to the side and turning the hands in. While this appears to help in the beginning for traction and ease into the posture, it can lead to shoulder and wrist injury.

It is also best to avoid this posture if pregnant, have carpal tunnel syndrome, and/or an injury in the wrists or shoulders.

Mental Benefits

Crow Pose is an arm balance that looks scarier than it is to practice. It challenges you to focus on lifting versus falling. You are supporting your weight on your hands, and that requires you to face the fear of face planting into the floor. Crow Pose encourages body awareness and honing in on the mind-body connection while flying in the air.

There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly? ~Sadhak Anshit

It is the perfect balance of holding on and letting go. Crow Pose invites you to accept your fears and embrace the courage to fly.

Physical Benefits

Crow Pose is an amazing full body workout. It works your arm and core muscles, as well as strengthens your wrists, upper back, and legs. While it is easier to use the force of your legs against the back of your arms for the pose, you get more physical benefit by using your core to lift you up.

In time, it can be fun to press from Crow to Handstand, and back to Crow!

I am strong, because I have been weak. I am fearless, because I have been afraid. I am wise, because I have been foolish. ~Sadhak Anshit

Additionally, Crow Pose also opens up the groin and tones the abdominal organs. The pose stretches the upper back, helps decrease heart burn and acidity, and increases the flexibility and elasticity of the spine.

Spiritual Benefits

Crow Pose fosters inner focus and concentration in the present. This pose is a symbol for justice and longevity. It strengthens the sacral chakra, also known as the second chakra.

Sacral chakra: our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. ~Sadhak Anshit

In time, Crow Pose connects us with our feelings, emotions, and creative energy

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