Your Monthly Yoga Pose
Spring has sprung! Spring brings sunshine, rainbows, flowers, bees and birds. April’s yoga pose of the month is crow pose (sometimes called crane), or bakasana in Sanskrit. Crow pose is a pose of strength and stability. It is a pose that can challenge beginner and expert yogis. Crow pose is an excellent base for poses like headstand and handstand, and the pose allows yogis to feel and activate their inner core to control balancing poses.
Crow pose has many benefits for the yogi. According to YogaJournal.com, crow pose strengthens the arms, wrists and abdominal muscles, stretches the upper back, and opens the groin.
- Stand with your feet slightly turned out and about shoulder distance apart.
- Squat into a yogi squat, or malasana, where your seat is pointed down and lower than your knees.
- Bend your elbows inside your knees and open your hands so all fingers are pointed up. Flex your wrists so the fingers are pointed up.
- Place your palms on the ground and activate your hands, feeling strength throughout the fingertips.
- Gaze forward as you begin to transfer your weight into your hands.
- Using your core, begin to lift one knee onto its respective armpit or triceps. (This will vary on your body.)
- Continue to gaze forward and lift the other knee onto the armpit or triceps.
- Continue to tighten your core and begin to straighten the arms.
- Stay for 20-30 seconds with normal breathing. Bend the elbows and finish in a yogi squat.
Modifications for beginners are to use blocks under the feet in a yogi squat in order to already have a small lift in the feet. Additionally, you may lift one foot at a time. For those with wrist complications, try “baby crow,” where you are on your forearms but still use the same lift from the core. If trying at home, be mindful of what is in front of you or any jewelry that you might fall on. A pillow or bolster over the hands is a nice soft landing when working on crow at home.
Modifications for experts is to begin in tripod headstand and flow into crow pose. Extensions can be made to press into handstand or fly into chaturanga.
Crow pose is a fun pose to acquire. You can feel your strength and balance come together. It can feel very liberating to fly.
Natalia Foote is the owner of threeR, a company bringing mindfulness, meditation and yoga practices to the workplace. Her mission in life is spreading love and light in the world. When not spending time with her family, you can find Natalia taking and teaching yoga all around Lake Nona.