Crow Pose (also Crane pose) is a very common, beginning arm balance pose in yoga. However, just because it is often an entry pose into the world of balancing on your two arms, that does NOT mean it is easy. Crow pose took me a long time to figure out, mainly because it is a balancing act.
In Sanskrit Baka means Crane and Asana Means Pose hence, crane/crow pose. In my training crow was referencing the pose done with bend arms where as crane is when you can straighten your arms out (much harder IMO).
What to Activate first:
Prep by doing some core work, chatturangas/shoulder strengthening, and balance. Definitely add in some hip openers like glute stretches as well since you will be all curled up in this pose.
How To Get Into Crow Pose:
- There are a few ways but I think the best way to get into crow pose is from a squatting position.
- I like to take my feet close together and my knees far apart.
- Then place your hands on the ground in front of you, palms planted shoulder width distance apart.
- Draw your knees as high up as you can onto the back of your triceps, lifting onto your tippy toes (a block under you toes is a GREAT starting point to get your hips lifted high enough to find the balance).
- Then set your gaze forward *this is KEY* - you should be looking at the ground about 1 foot in front of your hands. If you look down you WILL fall. That is the balancing act of this pose.
- Start to shift your weight forward into your arms, using your core to lift one foot, and then hopefully the other.
- Eventually once you master the pose you can work on straightening the arms (hello core!) or transitioning into a tri-pod headstand, or shooting your legs back into chatturanga! (see that fun transition below, with my friend/fellow yoga teacher/podcast co-host Raj).
To warm up, do core and shoulder strengthening like the plank below as well as hip and shoulder stretches like the modified warrior dog below as well:
Below you can see crow pose from the side and from straight on, notice my gaze is forward:
Now here comes the fun transition from Crow to Chatturanga - plus a little bonus split leg Crow on the bottom! Again notice a theme in ALL of these - I am gazing forward!
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