Yoga practice

Hatha yoga secrets: Crow Pose

Crow pose (kakasana) is an arm balancing pose that may seem challenging, but can actually be quite accessible if you know what to do and how to prepare your body and mind. Here’s a few tips and tricks:

1. Start practicing with a cushion and blocks. A cushion in front of you can be helpful if you are afraid to fall forward; rest your forehead on the cushion and try lifting your feet from this position. Blocks placed under your feet can support you when you want to practice lifting your feet.

2. Create opposition in two directions: from your elbows to your knees and vice versa, as well as from the crown of your head to the tip of your toes. This creates balance in your body. Keep reaching and pushing while you hold the pose.

3. Focus on one point in front of you. Concentration is half of the technique, strength in your body is only a secondary aid.

4. If you do want to build strength for this pose, you should mainly work your core and arms. Below you will find some yoga exercises to achieve this.

5. Practice other yoga poses to prepare mentally and physically. You could do a short yoga sequence incorporating poses to build the concentration and strength before doing crow pose.
– For concentration, practice breathing exercises and meditation. Balancing poses such as tree pose (vrikshasana) are also a great way to increase your focus in the asanas.
– For core strength, you can do planks, boat pose (navasana) and yogi bicycles.
– For arm strength, also perform planks, as well as chaturangas, dolphins and downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana). The latter also stretches and strenthens your wrists, which is a huge benefit for crow pose.

With these preparations and tricks in mind, how do you come into crow pose?
1. Start in a low squat (malasana).
2. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor, spreading your fingers wide.
3. Bend your elbows and place your knees on your upper arms, as close to your arm pits as you can.
4. Look forward and point your toes.
5. Shift your weight and try lifting one foot off the floor, then the other.
6. There you are, in crow pose! Smile and hold for a few breaths.
7. To come out of the pose, shift your weight back with control and softly place your feet back on the floor. Come to a comfortable seat and shake your wrists and hands.

Once you feel confident and stable in kakasana, keep challenging yourself by gradually extending the duration. And maybe you can try stretching your arms, advancing to crane pose (bakasana)! There’s always room for development in yoga 

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Use any tools you need and have fun experimenting!

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