[Pose Of the Week] How to Do Crane Pose (Intermediate)

This pose is often confused with Crow Pose, but in fact, Crane Pose is a slightly different animal. Here’s how they differ, and how to correctly perform the more challenging Crane Pose…

Crane Pose (Bakasana) and Crow Pose (Kakasana) are often confused as the same pose, when in fact, they have some subtle differences. To add to the confusion, each pose is often called by the other name – both in English and Sanskrit! In fact, the pose that you’ve probably heard of referred to as Bakasana is most likely Crow Pose instead, as this pose is much more commonly taught in yoga classes.

Crane Pose can be more challenging for many students, as it uses straight arms instead of bent, requiring greater arm, shoulder, and core strength to perform correctly. However, when performed correctly, it provides many benefits to the adventurous student, including increased arm, core, shoulder, wrist, and glute strength, improved flexibility of the upper back, groin, and spine, and improved balance. It can also help to build confidence and courage, improve focus, and prepare you for more advanced arm balance poses.

To modify the pose, you may keep your knees lower down on your arms. You may also lower your hips, or use a wedge under your hands to reduce stress on your wrists and arms. You may wish to practice this pose with a folded blanket or bolster under your face until you feel comfortable balancing in the pose. For a greater challenge, bring your knees all the way up into your armpits.

Those with injuries to the wrists, hips, knees, or shoulders should avoid or modify the pose. If you have heart problems, high blood pressure, hiatal hernia, or carpal tunnel syndrome, you should sit this one out.

There are several ways to enter Crane Pose, but the below option describes the most accessible method for most yoga students:

How to Do Crane Pose:

  • Start in Malasana with your hands in Anjali Mudra. If you can bring your feet flat to the ground, do. You may need to separate your feet a bit wider to make this possible. If you can bring your feet together and keep them flat, do.
  • Place your hands flat on the ground, with your wrists parallel to the front of your mat, and the middle of your wrists as wide as your outer shoulders.
  • Lift your hips, lift your heels, and lean forward.
  • Place your knees on the back of your upper arms. Keep your arms bent.
  • Push into your hands, use your core to lift your hips, and stretch your breast bone forward as you lean forward.
  • Squeeze your arms in and push your legs down into your arms. Lean forward.
  • Bend your knees so that your feet come off the ground into Kakasana. Bring the inner edges of your feet together.
  • Push through your hands, lift through your core, and straighten your arms. If possible, slide your knees up your arms and into your armpits. Look forward. Balance here. This is Bakasana.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths and then exit as you entered the pose (but in reverse) OR float back to Chaturanga Dandasana and “take a vinyasa”.
Learn more at AdventureYogaOnline.com


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