The crane and crow poses take a great deal of strength, balance and practice. They are yoga arm balances intended to help strengthen the muscles in your arms and belly.
The Bakasana (crane) and Kakasana (crow) may look intimidating, but with practice and patience, you’ll be able to launch into these poses in no time. Refresh your yoga skills and follow these steps as a guide.
HOW TO DO CROW POSE (OR KAKASANA)
Of the two yoga poses, the crow pose can be a little easier to achieve.
- Start by standing tall with a wide stance.
- Bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the mat in front of you, exactly shoulder-width apart. If your hands are too wide, you won’t have enough strength in your arms to support the weight of your hips.
- Spread your palms as flat as you raise onto the balls of your feet. Your arms will have a slight bend to prop your knees up high onto your triceps.
- Slowly lean forward onto your palms and begin to lift one foot off the mat at a time.
- Once you feel steady, lift your chin as far forward as possible. Keep your gaze high to help you keep balance. Imagine that you are lifting your belly button up to touch the ceiling.
- If you lifted both feet off the floor, start to bring your big toes together to touch.
- With that, you are in crow pose. Hold this position for a few breathing cycles and then return to the ground.
CROW POSE MODIFICATIONS
If you’re still building strength and can’t quite take flight, then use props such as a yoga block.
- Start with the balls of your feet on the block and then squat down.
- Place your hands on the mat in front of the block, shoulder-width apart.
- Alternate lifting one foot at a time off the block. As you hover, you should feel your core muscles engage and your arms start to work.
- You can also practice shifting your weight forward as if you were bringing your feet off the ground.
HOW TO DO CRANE POSE (OR BAKASANA)
The main difference between the crane and crow pose is in the arms. Start the crane pose the same way you would the crow pose.
- Settle into crow pose with your knees propped onto your triceps.
- From there, maintain your balance while straightening your arms.
Remember, arm balancing takes practice, strength and a little bit of courage. Take your time trying to master the crane and crow poses and soon you’ll be taking flight.
Want to continue advancing your yoga skills? Try out how to do a yoga headstand to turn your yoga practice upside down.