Crow Pose

Crow Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska

Crow Pose, known as Kakasana, and Crane Pose, known as Bakasana, are both versions of the same balancing position. Crow Pose is the easier of the two poses, where you balance closer to your hands. Crane Pose is a more extended version. It’s good to practice and get the hang of Crow Pose first and then to move on to the trickier Crane Pose. For both of these poses, it’s important to practice balance first and to build core strength with poses like Plank Pose and Boat Pose.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Tadasana and take your feet out to the edges of the mat. Squat down.
Step 2
Stretch your arms out in front of you and place the hands shoulder distance apart on the floor. Spread your fingers wide to get a firm grip on the floor which will ease control while balancing. The middle fingers are parallel to each other.
Step 3
Activate your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and start lifting your seat up so your torso is parallel to the ground. Step your feet together maintaining the knees wide.
Step 4
Slightly bend your elbows, ensure they stay shoulder width apart throughout the pose (so they don’t fall out to the sides) and then there are two options on where to place the knees up into or as close as possible to your armpits.
Step 5
Ensure that your inner thighs are engaged and are hugging into the midline of your body.
Step 6
Start leaning slightly forward, feeling the weight shifting evenly into the four corners of your hands.
Step 7
When you feel the weight is mainly on your hands start lifting up your heels up towards your seat with the big toes together. Alternatively, if you are new to this pose and to get comfortable, just play with shifting your weight into your hands and lifting up just one foot at a time. Your back is slightly rounded and the belly button continues to pull in towards your spine.
Step 8
Find your Drishti slightly in front of you, take a few deep breaths here before you lower your feet back down onto the ground. A more advanced exit of this pose is to press into the hands, keeping the chest elevated so you don’t drop, and jump the feet to the back of the mat into low Chaturanga.

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders, inner thighs and core muscles.

Mobilizes the upper back and hips.

Mobilizes the upper back and hips.

Contraindications

Avoid this pose if you have any wrists (like carpal tunnel syndrome) or shoulder injuries.

You might want to avoid this pose if you feel discomfort and suffer from sciatica, spondylitis or other back/disc problems as the spine is slightly rounded.

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props & Tips

  • If you feel this pose in your wrists you can, to reduce pressure, roll up a mat and place the palm of the hands on the mat and the fingers on the floor.
  • If elbows fall out to the sides you can tighten a strap around your arms just over your elbows (shoulder distance apart) to keep them in place.
  • Place a pillow under your head to gain confidence shifting your weight forward.
Variations
  • Side Crow Pose
  • Flying Crow Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.