[Pose Of the Week] Lift Off with Flying Crow Pose (Advanced)
Get ready to strengthen the core and upper body as you lift and balance in Flying Crow Pose!
Flying Crow Pose (Eka Pada Galavasana or Eka Pada Bakasana) – also known as Flying Pigeon, One-Legged Crow, or One-Legged Balance Pose – is an advanced-level yoga pose that requires both strength and balance to pull off. This lovely and impressive-looking pose increases arm and core strength, stretches and opens the hips, and improves balance and mental focus. This is not an easy pose, so don’t attempt it until you are ready! Be sure you have mastered Crow Pose first, and that you have built up sufficient arm strength and balance to do this pose. Other arm balance poses that can help you prepare for this one include Firefly Pose, Eight-Angle Pose, and Side Crow Pose. Pigeon Pose can also help you develop the hip flexibility that is needed for this pose.
Be sure you are fully warmed up before attempting this pose, and maintain slow, regular breathing as you move into and hold the posture. Keep your weight forward and your head lifted to maintain your balance. If you have trouble strengthening your back leg, you can practice with the leg bent and gradually straighten it as you learn to balance within the pose.
Those with low blood pressure, sciatica, or back, hip, neck, knee, pelvic, wrist, or ankle injuries should avoid this pose.
How to Do Flying Crow Pose:
- Begin standing with your knees bent in Awkward Chair (Utkatasana)
- Inhale as you bring your hands to Anjali Mudra at your heart.
- Exhale as you shift your weight to your left foot.
- Inhale and lift your right foot off the ground.
- Keeping both knees bent, exhale as you cross your right ankle over your left thigh, resting the ankle just above your left knee.
- Inhale as you begin to come into a forward bend over your right shin. Make sure you bend your left leg enough to bring your palms flat to the floor.
- Exhale. Hook the toes of your right foot around your upper left arm. Keep your right foot strongly flexed and your toes tightly hugging the arm.
- Bend both elbows to come into Chaturanga arms, which will make a shelf for your right shin.
- Inhale as you lean your torso forward, resting your right shin on your upper arms.
- Exhale and lift your left foot off the floor, keeping your knee bent at first.
- Inhale and focus on bringing more weight forward as you straighten your left leg behind you. Your left foot should remain off the floor the whole time.
- Exhale and flex your left foot strongly as you continue to hug the right foot to your upper arm.
- Breathe into the pose for a moment.
- To release from the pose, draw your left foot back to the front of your mat in a slow, controlled movement. From there, reverse your path to get into the pose by moving back through Utkatasana until you’re standing.
- When you are ready, repeat on the other side.
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