Q: Why are arm balances like Crow Pose so scary for me?
A: During the month of Halloween, it's only appropriate that we are talking about arm balances -- because for many yoga practitioners, they can seem scary! When fear becomes the prime mover in taking a pose, alignment and setting the pose up for success go out the window.
Q: Are there any tricks to mastering Crow?
A: Many students find difficulty in shifting their weight far enough forward (fear driving the pose!), so the weight does not move into the fingertips and stays back in the heel of the hands, causing a collapse in the wrists and rolling of the shoulders and finally a SPLAT right onto the ground. The key is to shift your weight forward and take a leap of faith.
Q: How can I become less anxious about the pose?
A: If you want to ease your fear, put a blanket for a soft landing in front of your hands, which will cushion any fall forward. Also consider using a block as a “perch” for the feet for elevation. This perch can give some yogis with tight adductors more access to getting the knees high on the upper arms and make the transfer of weight easier as well. Think of Crow as a Forward Bend into an arm balance, so the hips stay high in the air instead of starting low to the earth. This way, you only have to transfer the weight and find balance, not lift the whole body from a low starting position. Finally, remember to PLAY! Think of Crow Pose as a fun adventure in taking flight.
Bethany Lyons is a powerful leader, creator, community builder and co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, Manhattan's only Baptiste-style yoga studio. Bethany is a classically trained ballet dancer, Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher and Master Instructor at SoulCycle. In co-founding Lyons Den Power Yoga, Bethany seeks to showcase the endless possibilities all around us and to show up in a big way for her students and in her life.