Happy Favorite Pose Friday! Are you crowing for a new pose to switch up your arm balance practice? If so, you may want to give baby Bakasana a try. Oddly enough, this is less of a variation of Bakasana or ‘crow pose’ and more a modifed version of Karandavasana or ‘duck pose’. And, contrary to its name, this is an intermediate to advanced pose as it requires core strength and arm strength so you’re not using your shoulders to hold your weight.
The first time I tried this pose, it felt weird and wrong because it’s such a small pose. It kind of resembles the first face plant I ever did in Bakasana, but once I got into the groove I just had fun with it. That’s what yoga is meant to be more than anything, an enjoyable process not torture or self-flagellation.
Start in a squat balancing on the balls of your feet with your big toes touching. Separate your knees and walk your hands out in front of you until your arms are straight. Reach your forehead down toward the ground as you lengthen your heels toward the mat behind you. Take a few breaths.
Staying low, walk your hands in and place your forearms onto the mat parallel to each other. Wrap your knees around the upper outer edges of your arms. Spreadyour fingers evenly and press down on both sides of the wrists. Keep your gaze just in front of your finger tips to protect your neck, and lean forward keeping the knees actively hugging around your arms.
Continue to learn forward so your face gets closer to the ground. It will feel as though you are folding your biceps onto your forearms. Your elbows will stay flat the entire time. Once you lean forward, resist the weight of the legs on your arms by hugging the shoulders. Point just your left foot (you’re so close to the ground you won’t be able to lift it, just point). And don’t forget to keep your abs pulling in.
Round your upper back deeply as if you could sprout wings out of your shoulder blades. Continue to squeeze your knees around your arms as you lean forward a pinch more and point your second foot so both feet are now off the ground. Keep rounding your upper back, firming your elbows down, pulling your abs in, gazing slightly forward without any strain in your neck. Spread your toes and hold for 5 breaths then release your feet to the ground.
Fly little crow, fly!
– Your Charmed Yogi
(Primary image: Tumblr/Inhale Exhale)