Crane Pose, Bakasana: Yoga Arm Balances
Bakasana – This arm balance posture, the whole weight of the body rests on the hands. This strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders and abdominal muscles. It requires concentration and, in helping us conquer the fear of falling forward, builds confidence in other areas of our life.
1. Stand in mountain pose. Squat down and place the hands flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, and about 25 cm in front of the feet with the middle fingers pointing forward. With feet close together come onto tiptoes, widen the knees and bend the elbows. Lift the heels higher and bring your weight forward to place the knees on the upper arms as close to the armpits as possible. Continue to press the knees against the upper arms.
2. Slowly lean forward, transferring the body weight from the feet to the hands. Trust in the support of your arms as you let your face move forward. Once the weight is on the hands, lift the feet up and straighten the arms as much has possible. Keep the feet together. To develop the wrist muscles and protect their wrists, ‘claw’ the ground with the fingertips. This is Crane Pose. Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths. Keep your concentration as you come out of the posture. Slowly bend the elbows, bring the feet back to the floor, and stand up.
FOR ADVANCE PRACTITIONERS
3. From Crane Pose, advanced yoga practitioners can bend the elbows more and straighten one leg back in the air to ‘One Legged Crow Pose’. Stay in this position for a few seconds, bend the raised leg back into Crane Pose position and then repeat on the other side.
Gaze: Tip of nose
Counter Poses: Hero Pose, Camel Pose, Wrist Releases
- Practice transferring weight back and forth from toes to palms.
- Do not straighten the arms, but learn first to balance with bent elbows.