A special guest post from Toronto-based yogini Donna Wilding
Arm balances didn’t come easy to me. When I first started working with them it was frightening and exhilarating – at the same time. There was potential to ‘fly’ and potential to fall. Learning Bakasana (Crow Pose) resulted in a greater integration of my physical strength with strength of mind.
It was in the repetitive attempts that I found enough courage, as well as shoulder and core strength to learn to take flight like the bird this pose was named after.
It was hard to see at first that the falling was doing me some good. So I took away some of my fear with the use of props and it was this that truly built my Bakasana. Here’s a step by step guide for you to do Crow Pose.
Step One: Place your hands shoulder distance apart.
Stack two blocks and place your feet on them. Bring your knees to your upper arms as high as you can. Place your bolster in front of and under your face. This is your crash pad. It’s there for you if you face plant, and if you don’t, it’s there to give you the courage to move further into the pose. The simple placement of this bolster allowed me to move from a bent arm Bakasana to a straight arm version.
Step Two: Lean forward and lift your bottom.
Bending your arms will create a shelf for your knees to rest on. This is where the fear of falling may set in (or may not!), but have no fear, your bolster is a soft landing.
Step Three: Take one foot off the blocks.
Depending on where you are in your practice, you may hold here and breathe.
Step Four: Take both feet off the blocks.
Step Five: Put it all together.
Draw your ribs and belly up and in, round your spine upwards, and work towards straight arms!
Remember, practicing this pose is just as beneficial as achieving it. As you gain strength in your arms, shoulders and core, you will be able to take your Crow Pose to greater heights.
Donna Wilding is a teacher of yoga, student of yoga for 10+ years, and a student of life for 32. She’s happy to say she survives in the city of Toronto by sharing her passion for Yoga and Reiki. Arm balances are her favorite way to fly.