Yoga Sequences

Try Crane Pose 3 Ways

Build strength, focus, and equilibrium with these three variations of Bakasana—our favorite arm balance.

Bakasana (Crane Pose) may be considered a foundational arm balance, but that doesn’t make it easy. It requires strength, focus, and balance. A sense of humor helps, too. The effort you put into this asana is worth it, as it offers many benefits. It stretches your buttocks (gluteals), front of thighs (quadriceps), and the palm side of your wrist (wrist flexors), which counteracts the effects of typing.

It also 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). Try the variations below to find a variation of this pose that works for you.

Try some of these prep poses first: 

Supine Crane

None

Start on on your back to practice. Keep your feet hip-width apart and parallel as you lift you feet off of the ground and draw your knees toward your torso. Slightly bend your elbows. Bring your shins to the outside of your upper arms. Hug your arms in toward your midline and press your legs into your arms. You can keep your head down or lifted for a few moments. Hold for 5-10 breaths. 

Bakasana With a Block

None

Begin in a slight squat with your feet close and the knees wide apart. Place a block on its lowest height under your left foot. You can place a blanket in front of you to help you focus and as a soft landing pad in case you fall out of the pose. 

Squat down deeper. Place your hands on the floor shoulder distance apart and 6-8 inches ahead of your feet. Gaze at the top of your blanket and slightly up. Tilt your torso forward so that your shoulders fit between your knees. Grip your outer shoulders with your knees. 

Come high on your toes and shift forward until your elbows stack over your wrists. Continuing to reach your chest forward. Keep your left foot on the block, staying on the ball of that foot as you lift your right heel towards your buttocks. Hug your elbows in toward your midline and stay broad across your collarbones. Keep your elbows stacked on top of your wrists (think Chaturanga Dandasana arms). Your knees can either grip your outer shoulders or balance on your triceps. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then release your feet to the floor. 

Try this cork yoga block to find a lift in this pose

Bakasana (Crane Pose)

None

Begin in a squat with your feet together and your knees wide apart. Place your hands on the floor shoulder distance apart and 6-8 inches ahead of your feet. Gaze at the top of your mat and slightly up. Tilt your torso forward so that your shoulders fit between your knees. Grip your outer shoulders with your knees. 

Come high on your toes and shift forward until your elbows stack over your wrists. Continuing to reach your chest forward. Life your feet off of the floor and reach them for your buttocks. Hug your elbows in toward your midline and stay broad across your collarbones. Your knees can either grip your outer shoulders or balance on your triceps. Press your arms as straight as possible. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then release your feet to the floor.