Aaah, the Crow Pose. We go way back! For those following my blog, you must know by now that the Crow Pose has a special place in my heart. When I started my practice, my first goal was to be able to do this pose (other than the main goal: relaxation).
Within this article I will show you some practice tips and tricks on how to get into this asana. For some it might be hard in the beginning, but I believe that this pose can actually be achieved by just anyone. You know, I’m quite overweight, and even I can do it.
That said, it will take some training and a lot of Chaturangas before you’ll accomplish it, but I’m sure you will. And don’t forget to let me know in the comment section below how you are experiencing your Crow Pose Challenge!
Preparation for Crow Pose
If you parents used to say to you that you need to walk before you learn to run, well, this is one of those moments. Within yoga you see all of these crazy and almost impossible asanas. And you might think: this will never ever be something for me.
This I don’t believe for Bakasana (Crow Pose). I do believe with the right instructions, the right tools, and the right timing, you can achieve it! It might take weeks, months or even years, but don’t give up and you’ll get there! And at the same time, please don’t forget to have some fun as well :).
#1 Look At What’s Holding You Back
I’ve mentioned this many times before, and I’m going to say it again. You can achieve anything with yoga, as long as you look at it as an holisitic system.
Meaning: Your own thoughts are holding you back to thrive! And when nailing this amazing yoga pose, you need to look at your own thoughts before you’ll be able to get into it with ease.
This pose in particular asks for a bit of reflection. We are not so used to balancing on our arms and it will be hard for some people to let go of the fear of falling forward. Don’t worry, I’ve got some practical tips for this a bit further in the article.
#2 Work Those Arms
Crow pose asks for a lot of arm balance and strength. This is why it’s always good to incorporate some asanas to build up your arm strenght.
These poses include Chaturanga and Downfard Facing Dog, for example.
Doing a Proper Chaturanga
Chaturanga is probably one of the most used positions within yoga, and yet there are a lot of misconceptions about it. And at the same time it’s not the easiest position either.
To master this asana, you’ll already need a lot of arm strength. To do it properly, you come from a forward bend into the position.
You bring your hands to the front. Widen the fingers and make sure that your shoulders are right above your hands, elbows tucked in as close to your body as possible and your upper and lower body aligns itself.
If this version is a bit too much for you, you can always decide to bend your knees and put them on the mat. This is a great option for beginners. You’ll be doing a lot of them during Vinyasa yoga, so if this style has your preference, make sure that you don’t kill yourself by doing too much too soon.
#3 Positions That Are Similar to Crow Pose
The next positions I will talk about are not so much to strengthen your arms, but to make sure that you get a little taste of what it’s like to be in Crow Pose. They might not be so majestic, but they are going to be a big help.
This one is great to do in combination with Chaturanga and it actually gives you a feeling of how to place your hands on the mat before you go into Crow Pose.
Not just that, but it also helps with the feeling of ‘falling over’. This is the trickiest part within crow pose. People often think it’s quite scary to hang in there, just with your hands, with the chance of falling on the front of your face.
It’s especially that feeling of not being able to put your hands in front of you when you do fall over.
Don’t be worried though, I’ve never fallen on my face. I always tend to fall back, or just collaps through my arms because they can’t handle the weight anymore (never got injured FYI, yet).
We probably all know how to go into Forward Fold, if not, you can check out this article here. And instead of putting your hands next to your feet, try to put them a little bit further away from you.
This second one is also very great when you’d like to go into Bakasana. In a way it’s kind of a crow pose, but then the other way around. A crow that got tipped over.
This position will actually give you the feeling of how your arms and legs should be positioned when going into Crow. However, in Crow you won’t be putting your hands in Anjali Mudra. This will be awfully awkward to keep your balance.
Doing this asana is quite easy. You just squat. And to get deeper in the pose, you can put your elbows on the inside of your thighs and gently push them outwards. This will give a little opening in the hip. You bring your hands together in front of your chest.
An adjustment you might need with Garland pose is that you have to put something under your heel. It might be that you are not used to squat anymore because of our shoes.
Yes, shoes are handy, but they are not that great for your feet.
If you have pain in your toes or the arch of your foot, or just your foot in general, you can easily roll up your mat a little and raise your heels. This will give you a comfortable feeling doing this asana.
#4 Options/Tricks to Go Into Bakasana
Usage of Blocks
One way to come into Crow Pose, is by the usage of blocks. You can use them in a couple of ways, so you’ll have to see which one fits best for you.
The first option is where you’ll be standing with your feet on the block. This lift will give you a bit of height already and makes it easier to place your knees in the right position.
Another option to go into Crow is to place the block where normally your head would drop if you’d fall over. It also must be said that it might be safer to put down a foam block, rather than a cork one.
The placement of the block like this is because it will make you feel more secure to go into the position. You know that you won’t be injured if you’d fall over, giving you the self-esteem you need.
Just a quick note though, I’ve never been injured by doing Crow Pose. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it’s more on the rare side.
Watch Out Which Clothing You’re Wearing
Another thing before we’ll be going into Crow Pose, clothing. I’ve had it many times before, I wore trousers or something with long sleeves and I just slipped away.
Make sure that the clothes that you’re wearing are not obstructing you for what you want to do. It can even be a little bit dangerous if your clothing is too slippery.
Therefore, try to make sure you have some skin-on-skin action. This way you’ll feel it better when you start to slide or you feel that you’ll have a better grip.
If you are doing a rather vigorous Vinyasa Flow, make sure that you aren’t sweating too much. Or if you are sweating, I hope you brought your towel to wipe off the excess of sweat!
Going Into Crow Pose
Alright, do you feel comfortable now to get safely into Crow Pose? Then let’s do it!
First of all, you’ve got to make sure that you’ve warmed up properly. You probably did some chaturangas and down dogs. Maybe you did some shoulder shrugs and other warm-up exercises. As long as you’ve incorporated the arms and shoulders in it, it’s going to be fine.
Remember that you can always use a prop like I explained above here if you’d like some aid. There’s no shame in using them, they are an aid to go deeper into a pose, not a cheat.
I find it the easiest to go into Crow Pose when starting from Garland Pose. But instead of bringing the hands together in front of the chest, we put them on the mat. You know, like with Forward fold, but then in squat.
When you’ve placed your hands like a bit in front of you, you’ll see that you have to stand on the tip of your toes. Go as high as possible on the tip. Bring the knees a bit more above the elbows.
Then slowly start to bring your weight forward, bend your arms a little so that you form kind of a hinge for your knees to rest on.
It might take some time before you find the right balance, but keep on practicing until you do.
When you are starting to become a bit more advanced you can even hop into Crow Pose. But I wouldn’t suggest this yet for those who are just starting out discovering this asana.
And that’s about it when it comes down to Bakasana/ Crow Pose. If you don’t feel comfortable yet exploring this asana on your own, feel free to contact me and see if you could do with some private online classes.
And of course, I’m always curious about people’s experience, so let me know how you are doing in the comment section below!