Have you ever come across a yoga pose that you feel is impossible to accomplish? For many yogis, the crow pose, also known as bakasana, is one of the most difficult poses to execute.
While it’s considered an intermediate-level pose, many advanced students of yoga still struggle with the crow pose. But, learning to master the crow pose is well worth your time. This yoga pose can improve your core strength and balance, improve your digestion, and help you gain the confidence to tackle more challenging poses.
Additionally, the crow pose strengthens your forearms, wrists, and abdomen, and it stretches your upper back. But perfecting the crow pose requires more than just upper body strength and core strength. It also requires patience, focus, and courage.
With the right know-how, perfecting the crow pose can be much easier than you think. Read on to learn how to perfect this foundational pose.
Related: Yoga Postures for Better Digestion
1. Conquer Your Fears
Like all yoga poses, conquering the crow pose all begins with conquering your fears. Arm inversions and balances can be intimidating, especially when you’re learning them for the first time.
While it’s okay to be a little scared to try this challenging pose, you should get in the habit of allowing your fears to empower you rather than allowing them to control you during your yoga journey. Acknowledge that you’re a little scared and turn that anxious energy into excitement.
Say aloud that you can and will do this pose. Tell yourself that you’re strong enough to accomplish anything that you put your mind to. And, visualize yourself conquering the crow pose. This visualization will make it easier for you to put your thoughts into action.
2. Get Ready For Take Off
Once you’ve conquered your fears around the crow pose, it’s time to prepare for take off. To master the crow pose, you need to prepare yourself both mentally and physically.
While conquering your fears will help you mentally prepare to master the pose, here are some things you can do to physically prepare yourself for the pose:
3. Practice Forward Folds
When preparing for the crow pose, it’s important to warm up your trapezius muscles (aka, your shoulder blades). To do this, stand with your feet flat on the ground and bend your upper body over your legs.
Keep your feet about hip distance apart, and bend as much as you need to at the knees so your palms can touch the floor. To stretch out your trapezius muscles, round out your back and press your palms into the floor at the same time.
Shift your weight between your hands to wake up your back muscles and mimic the crow pose. This will also help you get used to transferring your weight.
4. Try Some Hip Opening Squats
Hip opening squats can also help you prepare yourself for the crow pose.
Stand with your feet wide, point your toes outward, and squat all the way down into your heels. Place your elbows inside your knees and your hands folded near your heart. Also, make sure your pelvis stays tucked in and your spine stays straight.
Performing this type of squat will stretch your inner groin and allow you to start engaging your core muscles.
5. Prepare With Planks
There are several plank variations you can practice to get ready for crow pose. First, start in a downward-facing dog by placing your hands and feet on the floor and bending your body into a V shape.
Then, take a deep breath and raise one leg toward the sky as you open your hips. Next, move your body into a standard plank position as you lift your knee to your elbow. Bring your knee back and hold yourself in a standard plank pose.
Planking will help strengthen your shoulders and arms, and it’ll help you deepen your mind-body connection. If you want to take your plank variations one step further, you can go from a plank to a handstand.
Related: This is Why Yogis Should Handstand
6. Take It Step By Step
Once you’ve physically and mentally warmed up, it’s time to get into the crow pose. To master the crow pose, don’t just try to throw yourself right into it. Instead, take things step by step.
Here are the steps you need to follow to master the pose:
- Slightly bend your knees about shoulder distance apart
- Firmly place your palms on the mat about a foot in front of you
- Spread out your fingers and push your weight into the top joints of each finger
- Slightly bend your elbows and come up onto the balls of your feet
- Open your knees and place them on the back of your upper arms
- Push your weight into your hands and lift your head
- Come up on your tiptoes, and slowly lift one foot at a time off the floor
- Engage your thighs and hug your feet toward your bottom
- Don’t allow yourself to sink into the pose. Instead, focus on balancing your weight
To come out of the crow pose, take a deep breath out and transfer your weight back to your feet. Throughout the pose, remember to keep your core engaged and to keep your eyes gazing forward.
It’s also important to remember to breathe consistently throughout the pose.
Looking for the perfect yoga mat to help you master the crow pose? Click here to shop our selections.
7. Modify The Pose If Necessary
If you can’t get into the crow pose right away, don’t sweat it. As we mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of practice and patience to master the crow pose.
One of the best ways to modify the crow pose is with the use of a yoga block. You can place your yoga block under your feet if you need help getting your knees onto your triceps.
Or, you can place a cork block under your forehead to get over the fear of pushing your head into the mat. You can also incorporate a block into your regular yoga routine to improve your strength and modify other challenging poses.
8. Get The Right Gear
It’s a lot easier to cook the perfect steak if you have the right ingredients, the right cutting knives, and a great recipe.
The same concept can be applied to yoga poses- it’s a lot easier to master a pose if you have the right gear. Yoga Society has all of the gear you need to make mastering the crow pose a snap. From mats to blocks to straps to apparel, you’re sure to find everything you need.
Looking for the perfect outfit to master the crow pose? Click here to check out Yoga Society’s apparel options.
Are You Ready To Try The Crow Pose?
Now that you’ve read this guide, it’s time for you to give the crow pose a try. Before you know it, you’ll have this pose completely mastered, and you’ll be on to more challenging poses.
You can check back in with our blog to learn more tips and tricks for mastering different yoga poses.