Crow Pose is fantastic. It strengthens arms, wrists and the abdominal muscles, stretches the upper back, opens the groin and tones the abdominal organs. It’s an arm balance, so it might look downright intimidating at first, but mastering this move is actually pretty easy, once you pinpoint your main impediment.
● First, try getting into the pose:
From Yogi Squat, place your hands flat on your mat about shoulder-width apart with the fingers spread wide. Now, lift the hips way up toward the sky, bend the knees and lift the heels off the floor so only the balls of the feet are down, keeping the hands and feet where they are. Gently press the knees into the backs of the triceps and begin to shift your weight into the fingertips, lifting one foot at a time off the floor. Your elbows should be creating a 90 degree angle. Bring your gaze between the hands to maintain balance.
● Next, observe what seems to be the problem:
If you keep trying to get in this pose and despite all efforts, you can’t, it might be because you still need to build some strength in your upper body and core. This usually happens to people that carry their weight in their lower body, as well as people that have jobs that don’t require physical effort. You will see dramatic improvement if you do more arm and core strengthening poses like Downward Facing Dog, Plank, Cobra, Upward Facing Dog, Side Plank, Dolphin and Four-Limbed Staff Pose.
If balance seems to be the problem, you can use some props. One solution would be to put a pillow or folded blanket in front of you, to get rid of the fear of falling. Another one would be to place a yoga block vertically directly under your forehead. This will offer you both support and a cue for knowing if you are off-center. You could also do a body scan and make sure you draw everything in, before attempting to fly. So the knees are pressing into the upper arms, the inner thighs are drawing inwards and the elbows are drawing in. The secret to flying is that all your muscles are engaged and doing their part.
If you feel like it’s hard for you to enter the pose because your feet seem uncooperative, try stretching first. A couple of deep yoga squats, reverse squats and modified crows should do the trick. By modified crow we are referring to a crow in which you only lift one leg at a time, to prepare the body for the real deal.
*Please note that this yoga pose is contraindicated for pregnancy, carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist injury. Stay safe!