“What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” Erin Hanson
There’s an art to Crow pose or Kakasana in yoga.
Even for more experienced yogis, it can be tricky to lift your body into this challenging arm balance and feel confident when you’re there.
But it’s worth the work. Once you’re up and find the right alignment, the pose can feel almost effortless – like you are flying.
And Kakasana comes some serious health benefits. It tones and strengthens your abdominals and arms, requires balance and builds concentration. As you begin to hold this position, the muscles in your arms, wrists and even your fingers are given a stretch. This is a great for injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or if you spend most of your day in front of a screen.
Here’s our 7 step guide to getting into Crow pose:
- From Malasana or yogi squat, place your hands shoulder width distance apart on the floor. Line the creases of your wrists parallel to the front of the mat – same as in plank pose.
- Engage hasta bandha – spread your fingers and press them into the mat to enhance the natural arch of your palm.
- Bend elbows outward beyond your shins so they rest on your upper arms. Wrap the outer arm bones and forearms in.
- Gaze forward, lean shoulders forward and stack your elbows directly over wrists.
- Shins draw in and upwards, hugging into your upper arms and engage your adductors, while drawing the navel in and up.
- With your big toes touching, lift the heels towards your sit bones. You can point or flex your feet here.
- Hold your drishti or single point of focus ahead of you.
Make sure you breathe, and get the mind working for you too. Try to let go of any thoughts that are making you feel anxious or afraid in this pose – instead, think about how light and effortless you feel.
How to advance in Crow pose:
The options are endless! Float into crow pose from plank and back, transition from crow into tripod headstand by lowering your the crown of your head to the mat and lifting your legs straight overhead – keeping your core engaged. You can even lift up from Kakasana into handstand. The next step however is Bakasana or crane pose, where the body stays in the same position but the arms straighten.
Tip – use props! Place a block under your forehead or under your feet to begin with when you practice.