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4 Ways to Practice Crow Pose to Build Strength and Courage

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Overcome the fear of falling in yoga and learn how to do crow pose (kakasana) with four variations you can practice at home to get stronger and more confident.



Crow pose (kakasana) is a challenging arm balance in yoga that seems to defy gravity. The posture can be both fun and frustrating. It requires courage to overcome the fear of falling (and getting new bruises). It will help you find your center of gravity, build upper body strength and learn how to balance as you transition between poses.

There are many physical and mental benefits to practicing crow pose. The posture strengthens your arms, wrists, core muscles and legs. It stretches your upper back and hips and increases the flexibility and elasticity of your spine. It can even help decrease heartburn and acidity.

Crow pose also improves focus (you have to concentrate in order to hover off the ground). It stimulates the root chakra (muladhara), sacral chakra (svadhisthana), and solar plexus chakra (manipura), creating a sense of grounding, power, creativity and connection.

To get started, you can try crow pose on your back, with blocks or balancing on your toes. Press play on the tutorial below to explore four variations of crow pose. Make sure you are cleared by a doctor before trying this pose, especially if you are experiencing injuries in your arms, wrists, shoulders or are pregnant.



Here are my top tips for advancing your crow pose:

  • Make sure to warm up before trying crow pose (I included a warm-up in the beginning of the video). You can also flow through sun salutations

  • Start with a supine variation laying on your back to open your hips and get used to the position without bearing weight on your arms. Reach your palms toward the ceiling and bring your knees toward your armpits. Point your toes and touch them together. Lift your head off the mat

  • When you begin weight bearing in crow pose, you can place a block underneath your forehead to prevent you from falling forward

  • You can also use a block under your feet to elevate the ground so it is easier to tilt forward and find your balance point

  • As you build strength, you can practice lifting and lowering each leg without the support of a block

  • Over time, you can try crane pose (bakasana) by straightening the arms

  • If you practice vinyasa yoga, you can try floating from crow pose into four-limed staff pose (chaturanga dandasana) for an added challenge

  • For an additional arm balance, you can lower the top of your head to the ground and press into a tripod headstand (sirsasana II) and then lower back into crow pose

  • Make sure to roll out and stretch your wrists after trying crow pose

Be patient with yourself if it feels difficult or unstable. Progress takes practice and time. I’m proud of you for facing this challenge head on!

I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. If you found the tutorial helpful, save it to practice again and share it with your yoga community. For more yoga tips, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

With gratitude,

Shannon

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