Crane (Crow) Pose

A compact arm balance, Bakasana tones and strengthens the abs and arms.
By YJ Editors , |

How to say Bakasana in Sanskirt

(bahk-AHS-anna)
baka = crane

Crane (Crow Pose) Step-by-Step Instructions

Chris Dougherty

Photo: Christopher Dougherty; Mat: Jade Yoga; Props: Hugger Mugger

  1. Begin in a squat with the feet together and the knees wide apart
  2. Tilt the torso forward so that the shoulders fit between the knees
  3. Grip the outer shoulders with the knees and place the palms together in front of the sternum
  4. Extend the sternum away from the navel while descending the tailbone towards the floor
  5. Place the hands on the floor shoulder distance apart and 6-8 inches ahead of the feet
  6. Come high on the toes and shift forward until the elbows stack over the wrists
  7. Continuing to reach the chest forward, lift the heels towards the buttocks
  8. Roll the heads of the upper arms back and up away from the floor
  9. Knees can either grip the outer shoulders or balance on the triceps
  10. Press the arms as straight as possible while bringing the feet and buttocks towards each other
  11. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then either release the feet to the floor or exit into Chaturanga

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Crane (Crow) Pose Cues

Cautions and Contraindications of crow pose

  • Avoid or modify if you have wrist arthritis, wrist pain, or carpal tunnel
  • Avoid or modify if you have any back pain or injuries, including surgeries, osteoporosis, disc bulging or herniation, arthritis
  • Avoid if you have a hip replacement or hip pain in the pose
  • Caution for shoulder pain or injury
  • Caution or avoid if you are pregnant, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd trimester
  • Modifications and Props

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Benefits of crow pose

  • Improves focus
  • Stretches your buttocks (gluteals), front of thighs (quadriceps), and the palm side of your wrist (wrist flexors), which counteracts the effects of typing
  • Strengthens your core, upper back, chest, front of your hips (hip flexors), back of thighs (hamstrings), arms, shoulders, forearms, and back of wrists (wrist extensors)

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3 Ways to modify Crow pose

1. Crow Prep

Try just lifting one leg at a time

2. Crow with block

Chris Dougherty

Photo: Christopher Dougherty; Mat: Jade Yoga; Props: Hugger Mugger

Try putting a block under your feet to get some lift and more space to play with the pose.

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Consider putting a blanket under your head for cushioning if you fall forward

Lift one leg at a time and maybe both legs

3. Supine Crow

Chris Dougherty

Photo: Christopher Dougherty; Mat: Jade Yoga; Props: Hugger Mugger

Try coming into position on your back to practice

Bring your shins to the outside of your upper arms

You can keep your head down or lift for a few moments

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Preparatory Poses for Crow Pose

Follow-up Poses After crow pose

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More Pose Detail

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