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Crow Pose, Crane, Bakasana Numerous Teachings

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I started this post and it has become very long. Everyone is in different place in their practice and need a different teaching to help them at that place. Everyone understands the teachings differently so a variety is necessary in the hope that each person can find one or two they can relate to.
There have been many questions about Crow pose (Bakasana). Hopefully these teachings below will provide you with the help you are looking for. There are very many with much more experience than myself that were kind enough to share their knowledge.
Everyone starts in the most basic form of the pose. Even if a person intends to practice an advanced version of the pose everyone starts squatting on the floor in a version of Malasana. If you are new to the pose this is were you should try and start as well. Maybe that is a far as you go for awhile until this becomes very comfortable. You do not have to go into the full expression of the pose to receive a good benefit from the pose. All you have to do is have your feet on the ground with the correct form and alignment. This is actually a far better way to approach learning than going too far too soon. After a while you might like to try the next step.
With all the different teachings below it is always the same theme: Use core strength to achieve the lift. Pushing the knees into the back of the arms sort of works but this can cause problems as well. And it will be very limiting for the proper development of the pose.
And remember it is a practice, not a perfect. If we are not there today it’s OK, it’s something we are working towards. If we mess up a bit today it’s OK. We tell ourselves it’s a practice and we try again next time. I don’t remember the first time I did this pose it was probably about 15 years ago and I am still working on it today. Below, you will see a very high level teacher, she has probably been practicing this pose for about 15 years as well. I will point out a little part so you can see that it is still a work in progress for her as well. Just like it is for everyone.
When you are working through the teachings try to take it one small step at a time. There is a huge amount of information here and it can be overwhelming.
YBC Crow Pose
Crow Pose … How to do crow pose … 
YBC Common Mistakes in Crow Pose
common mistakes in crow pose … , learning how to do crow pose was a pivotal moment in my personal yo ga practice. All of the sudden...

Bakasana for Beginners, Crow Pose Yoga Arm Balance

This is a very step by step look at how to get into crow pose. It's for people who are relatively new to yoga and relatively new to the idea of balancing on their hands.
Challenge Pose: Bakasana
Bakasana (Crow Pose) is hands down (and tail feather up) one of my all time favorite poses. I’m a firm believer that once a student fully understands this pose, all the other balances will begin to make sense and blossom. Crow is one of the most commonly offered arm balances and for that reason one of the least instructed. ‘Bakasana’ is often called out without any advice on getting in, so I’m hoping this break-down will make you more eager to give it a whirl...
Hard-Core Arm Balance: Lolasana (everybody hates this pose. It is very similar to Bakasana and builds tremendous core strength. Please at least consider practicing the beginner steps or more)

It’s not unusual to hear people say, “Yoga mostly keeps me in shape, but I do other exercises for core strength.” Many of us equate “core strength” with strong abdominal muscles, so we use various forms of sit-ups to develop it. There’s much more to strengthening the core than pumping up your abs, but that’s certainly a good start, and sit-ups can be a very effective way to do it. What’s more, some types of sit-ups have the added benefit of strengthening another crucial group of core muscles, the hip flexors. But is there anything in yoga that can do the same?

There certainly is... it can easily be dialed back to match the ability level of almost any student.



Bakasana (see drawings of the muscles at work in the human body)


Pose of the Moment – Bakasana (many related poses for gaining opening - flexibility and stabilizing - strength)



Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series: Bakasana with Maria Villella

This is the one where you can see even the very advanced are still practicing or working on their poses. There are two Bakasana shown in the video. The first one she jumps into it. Notice how her feet don’t get as close to her hips (her bottom) as the second one where she begins from a squat on the mat. Yes, that is very nit-picky but it shows that no matter how good a person becomes at a pose everyone still practices. And it is not my intention to criticize her. I have great respect for this teacher.
Edit December 28, 2015 Add additional item below
A very well written article Crane Pose Bakasana by Peter Thomson 
"When this preparatory work has been done, when the practice is engaged in for its own sake, for the love of it, attainments such as Bakasana come fluidly and effortlessly as a natural extension of the work already done." (this is such a wonderful statement)
Hildegard, yogafire, Tyra and 2 others like this

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Thank you for posting such a thorough deconstruction of bakasana! I especially liked the last video, I think I'm going to change my approach and really work on engaging the core more. I've already got the lolasana practice from yoga journal pinned on pinterest, it's a pose that intrigues me - it doesn't look all that difficult but it's such a beast!

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Thank you Anahata for this almost complete guide thorough Bakasana.

I'm actually working on the two poses you refer to: Bakasana and Lolasana.

I'm eager to start flying so I've been searching for how-to tutorials trying to keep mind notes of all the tips and the main tip I found in almost all the tutorials is: core strength.


So, the main conclusion to me is: trying to perform Bakasana is good but it's pointless (and my be dangerous) if you don't take in mind you have to build your core strength.


Said so, I think the best approach would be to structure your practice to build core strength first like the links below and the try to perform Bakanasa.

Yoga for core strength 

Yoga sequence for core strength 

(Candace has videos about this topic too, but I prefer following images than videos)


That's where Lolasana came. It is a challenging pose. I couldn't perform it more than 1 breath!!! Or to be more precise: I forgot to breath were trying to do it.

Those two are my challenge poses at the moment. I want to master Lolasana because it is a really challenging pose and with that build core strength to go for Bakasana.

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