Bakasana or the Crow pose a very important yoga pose that clearly distinguishes the yoga beginners from experienced yoga practitioners. Being equally popular in both groups, beginners are usually obsessed with this pose not only because of its benefits but for them this pose is sort of a milestone. The fundamental pose to master before trying other advanced poses. In most of which you have to raise your body in the air with the balance of your arms. But this sense of achievement doesn't sideline the benefit of a crow pose.
Main benefits of crow pose.
1, Build strength.
This pose is excellent in strengthening engaged muscles and joints such us; wrist, forearm shoulder core.
2, Improve hand balance skills.
Hand balance is a skill which should not be confused with shoulder and arm strength, (go and ask any builder to do a crow pose in the first attempt) for proper hand balance skill one should have a great focus and good mind-body coordination. And this pose is great to perfect both.
3, Develop endurance.
Crow pose is brilliant for building forearm, core and shoulder endurance. Mind it Bak-asna is a resistance pose which means while doing it you would be not only resisting gravity but also your own body.
How to do it.
Crow pose is intermediate difficulty level pose which requires not only a certain level of experience but also proper technique.
If your technique is not right and doesn't have required muscle strength, this pose is almost impossible to perform and maintain. (Just experience won't make you do a crow pose overnight)
Other than technique one more critical thing work on is confidence. A lot of people shy away from crow pose not because of their physical form but their confidence. Well, it is entirely normal if you have some fear of doing a crow pose in the initial stage. The fear of elevating your body in the air with a chance of flip over the back of your head.
This is the main reason that a lot of yoga student don't lift their core to required degree.(everyone wants to land on their feet rather than the head) the only advice to cater that is to give it a proper try. You can do it like 1000s of other people who tried.
For the sake of your mental peace place a pillow in the front of your head in initial attempts.
To master this pose, one must have required strength in the engaged muscle group, i.e., wrist& forearms, shoulders, and core. Consider it a triple story building in which each muscle group should be vertically aligned and strong enough to support each other.
To build the required strength one should initial master these 3 basic yoga poses which are great for enhancing balance and resistance.
01. High Plank Pose.
Benefits: Strengthen your wrist shoulders and core muscles. Tone your abdomen. Improve your posture and reduce back pains. Improve your balance which results in better movement and coordination. Along with other enormous benefits, this is a foundational pose for beginners to train them for advance hand balancing poses.
Tips: If you start to feel your core failing and your lower back begins to arch, take your knees down. You risk injury to your lower back by continuing plank with an arched back. If holding a plank for a longer period is difficult, rest your both knees and alternate knees time to time.
02. Downward Dog Pose.
Benefits: Provide a great stretch to the entire backside, open the shoulders to get a better range of motion. Enhance shoulder and forearm strength while lengthening calf and hamstring muscles. Excellent pose for maintaining a proper running posture in long runs. Moreover, increase blood flow towards brain which decreases stress and enhances productivity.
Tips: Watch out for any hyper-extension of elbows and knees. If you feel too much pressure on your shoulders, shorten the distance between your hands and feet, or allow your knees to bend until you feel an even stretch throughout your entire back. If your hamstrings are tight and your spine is rounding, bend both knees slightly and tip your pelvis so that the tailbone reaches upward. Focus on a long spine by pressing into your palms and lifting your hips.
03. Malasana / Deep-Squat Pose.
Benefits: A excellent hip opening pose that strengthens your thighs, groin, hips, ankles, and torso mussels. Improve your squat balance, concentration, and focus. Tones your abdominal muscles and improves the function of the colon to help with elimination. Enhances blood circulation in the pelvic region, which helps in regulating sexual energy.
Tips: Knees pressing inwards toward elbows, elbows pushing outwards towards knees to create tension. Avoid this Pose if you are having knee or lower back pain. Keep bowels empty before you practice this asana.
- Start from Deep-Squat pose
- Slightly shift the weight from your soles to toes
- Gently rock back and forth to find your balance while engaging your core.
- Slowly rock forth and place your hands on the floor.
- Don't collapse your shoulders. Pull your shoulder blades down your back to lift your chest.
- Pull your neck out and gaze the floor 2 to 3 feet ahead of your mat. it will help you to with your balance and stop you from curling up and getting flip over your head.
- Instead of jumping to crow pose, rock forth a bit more and shift the weight of your knees to your arms.
- Slowly lift your toes one at a time. And find your balance.
Bonus tip: rather than putting all the weight on your wrist and base of your palm, distribute the pressure on the base of your palm and the base of your fingers (at the back of your knuckles.) Lift both of your toes try to balance and rock back.
Practice few times and increase the time gradually.