Build upper body strength, improve focus & coordination, and open your chakras in One Leg Side Crane Pose…
One Leg Side Crane Pose (Eka Pada Parsva Bakasana) – also known as One-Legged Side Crow Pose – is an advanced-level arm balance pose that builds strength in the arms, shoulders and core, stretches the hips, legs, and hamstrings, and improves balance and coordination. It is also believed to stabilize the nervous system, increase mindfulness, boost confidence, improve focus, and open the Root and Crown chakras, creating a sense of security and stability, inner peace, and joy.
Arm balance poses can be tricky, and you should make sure you are comfortable with Crow or Crane Pose, as well as Side Crane Pose, before attempting this one. Go slowly, breathe deeply, don’t rush it, and feel free to place some folded blankets or pillows in front of you to provide a soft landing surface in case you lose your balance.
Those who are pregnant, or who have back, arm, wrist, or knee injuries should avoid this pose.
How to Do One Leg Side Crane Pose:
- Start the position in Tree Pose (Vrksasana), left leg grounded and the right foot resting on your inner left thigh.
- Using your hands, lift your right foot and place your ankle above your left knee so that your foot is crossing in front of your leg. You can place your ankle just above the left knee, or higher up on your thigh.
- Exhale and begin to bend at the hips, holding your foot in place with the opposite hand. As you move your upper body forward, bend your left knee slightly to lower your body further. As your upper body moves in closer to your folded leg, bring your arms in front of you and firmly push the palms of your hands flat onto the floor, shoulder-width apart and arms extended.
- Balancing on your hands and the balls of your feet, continue to bend the left knee until your calf and hamstring are pressed together. At this point your right foot should be between the upper thigh of your bent leg and your armpit, sticking out past your left arm.
- Hook your right knee over your right arm so that the inside of your thigh is over your triceps. Your elbows should be bent, hands pressed on the floor, so that your upper arms are creating a shelf for your bent leg to rest on. Pull your right knee forward and angled slightly outward, drawing your right foot away from the upper left thigh. Extend your left leg behind you, keeping your foot on the floor to stabilize yourself.
- Raise your hips and transfer the majority of your weight to your hands, moving your body forward. Rock forward a few times, testing your balance when you transfer the weight so that you can safely begin to lift your leg. As you continue moving forward, bend your elbows, keeping your right leg firmly rested on your forearm. You will feel your left foot begin to lift itself off of the floor naturally; let the foot lift up, keeping your leg active, then extend it diagonally behind you angled inward so that your right foot and left leg are touching (or nearly touching) around the knee or inner thigh. Point the toes of both of your feet, or extend through the heel of your raised leg to deepen the stretch in the back of the leg.
- Hold this position for a few controlled breaths. To come out, bring the extended leg back in by bending at the knee, placing your foot back on the floor. Then shift your weight back onto your grounded foot, ending back in the tree pose. Release and start again with the other leg.
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