Once you are confident with initial easy yoga poses, you can move on to the higher level. Yoga selectively strengthens the muscles, tendons and organs’ vitality. The Pigeon pose, Downward facing dog pose, waterfall pose etc, strengthens the lower torso and leg muscles. Similarly, we have a yoga pose that helps in strengthening the upper torso parts. Crow pose Bakasana is one such yoga pose that is practised to strengthen the arms and hands. The crow pose and the Crane pose are similar in nature as the main focus is on balancing the weight on the arms and palms.
Crow pose is one of the initial poses for arm balance; yoga students come across. Though the main focus is on the arms, it actually tests the capacity of the practitioner to distribute the body weight equally on two arms. The biggest problem with the yoga practitioner comes in their hesitancy to move enough weight forward into the hands. However, when you find the perfect spot of balance, then you are able to lift the body automatically. There are two schools of thought; one believes the crow pose and the crane pose are different due to the position of the arms, while others believe both poses are similar. Let us find more about this arm balancing pose and its significance. Before we start, it is always advisable to practice yoga under expert supervision. Do not become a yoga guru on your own.
Significance of Crow Pose
The crow pose is a balancing technique. In ancient texts like Hatha Yoga, it is mentioned that balancing postures helps a person to attain the balance between mind and body. As the body is elevated in the air, there is a sense of lightness. This pose helps to increase strength, develop balance and improve concentration and confidence. In spiritual terms, the balancing pose tests your mental balance and calmness. The arm balance technique is effective to concentrate the scattered mind, and it helps in smoothening of the breathing pattern. The crow pose under supervision can be one of the easiest arm balancing yoga poses that can be mastered.
Decoding the Kakasana, the arms act as the leg of the crow while the hand becomes the bottom foot. The thighs and legs folded up to become the body of the crow. Crows or other avians, in particular, have lightweight and they hop on their feet and fly. They are not bound with gravity, and feel the lightness. Similarly, this crow pose allows our body to be in impact shape and close to the ground. However, the upliftment of the body allows us to free up against gravity. Contact yoga experts to choose the correct pose for you.
How To Perform The Crow Asana?
Crow pose or bakasana pose can be one of the trickiest poses. First of all, you have to balance the hand and transfer the weight on the arms. So it is important to perform the pose in a correct way. Let us find out the correct way to perform the pose. The first phase is the preparatory phase.
- Stand upright in the mountain pose, or the Tadasana with arms should rest on the side. It is necessary to breathe in a rhythmic pattern throughout the pose.
- Bend downwards by flexing the knee in such a way that you are able to touch the floor with palms flat on the mat.
- Plant the palms firmly on the mat nearly about a foot in front of the feet. To firm the cushion, spread the fingers wide and press into the top joint of each finger.
- Bend the elbow straight back. Do not bend fully like that in chaturanga arms.
- Come up till the level of balls of your feet. Open your knees wide enough to line up with upper arms.
- Place your knees on the backs of your upper arms.
- Now time to bring the weight of your body forwards towards the hand.
- Now time to lift your feet in the air. Take one foot and then the other one off the ground.
- The knees take the support of the arms while engaging the inner thighs. Now comes the difficult phase. The body needs to be lifted completely off the ground. Do not overdo this lifting phase; otherwise, chances are there that the weight transfer will be on the shoulders rather than on the arms. Hold the pose as long as you can.
- Once you are done, then exhale slowly and transfer the weight back slowly till your feet touch the ground.
Follow tips to avoid mistakes while doing bakasana pose yoga. Suggestions to avoid mistakes during the crow poses includes not let your elbows splay out to either side. The elbow should be in line with the shoulder and wrist. Otherwise, there are chances of injury. This can be avoided by spreading the fingertips on the ground and making sure the elbows are over the wrists. Make sure to use the core muscles to hold the legs up rather than relying on the hips. The head should face up and now down. This is a dangerous situation as it will imbalance the pose and the centre of gravity shifts forward, and you may fall from this position.
The most difficult part is the transferring of the weight onto the hands. So it is advisable to perform this pose under the supervision of an expert. However, there are certain modifications and variations for which can help you to conduct this pose with ease.
Modifications And Variations
Crow pose for beginners includes several modifications. Before lifting the leg and making yourself float in the air, put a block behind and rest the legs on the block. The block will elevate the legs and make it easier for you to lift the legs in the air. Once you lift both your legs one by one, then elevate a little further and keep the feet as light as possible. The weight should be concentrated on the arms and not on the hips. Once you have mastered this pose with blocks, try doing this without the block.
The next fear is falling flat on the ground forward with your face smashing the floor. This is a common incident when one is trying this pose initially. So it is advisable to place a blanket or a soft support in front of your hands such that your head may touch the support in case the centre of gravity shifts on the head. This modification helps to maintain safety and avoid head injury.
The third modification in the list is to balance the centre of gravity. If the support base covers less area and more height, then it is likely that the person will fall forward. So once can spread the palms instead of fingers and lower the pose. This will balance the centre of gravity and provide firmness to the pose. Once you have confidence, then you can elevate the pose and increase the height.
Benefits Of The Crow Pose
Crow pose is used to strengthen the muscles and tendons of the wrist, forearms, abdomen while you are stretching the upper back. It helps in improving the balance. Crow yoga pose is a perfect preparatory pose for Handstand and firefly poses. It increases the focus and concentration of the mind while opening the hips. Mastering the crow pose helps build confidence, and one can step up and prepare for other poses. One can improve awareness and body control. The benefits can be physical and spiritual. Physically the abdominal muscles and belly muscles get tones. It also stimulates the stomach and intestines and helps in bowel movement and digestion. It also works on the middle back, upper back, biceps and triceps.
Spiritually it helps in activating the solar plexus or the manipura chakra. It helps in defeating the fear and controlling the emotional state of mind. This helps a person to face adverse situations with courage and bravery.
Crow Pose Contraindications
This pose puts a lot of weight on the arms and hands. So one should avoid the pose if he is having any kind of wrist or shoulder injury. People having carpal tunnel syndrome should avoid this pose-other contraindication in pregnancy. Few experts believe that people having difficulty in getting sleep should avoid this pose. If you have a balancing problem and often tend to fall forwards, then put a firm soft blacked in front to avoid hitting the head on the floor. There are chances that initially, you will be falling forward while learning this pose. So it is necessary that the landing should be soft.
Always remember your capacity and limitation while performing the crow pose. There are chances of a wrist and head injury. It is always important to perform the pose under the supervision of an expert. Gain confidence. Modifying the pose is absolutely fine, and once you master the sub poses, you can go for the full-blown crow pose. Remember, yoga and health go both hand in hand; just we have to do it right. So call your yoga teacher now and explore the crow pose bakasana.