Bakasana (bah-KAH-suh-nuh) builds arm, shoulder and abdominal strength. It keeps the abdomen firm and releases the back muscles.
Bakasana develops immense concentration. In a small village there lived a little girl and her brother. One day the brother made the most beautiful pots and gave them to his sister to sell in the nearby market. The little girl took all the pots to the market and stacked them beautifully for people to see. She sat in front of the pots and started day dreaming. I will sell these pots and make money, and with that money I will buy some cows. With the cows I can sell the milk and because I am honest everyone will buy milk from me. Soon I will be able to buy a farm and raise chickens and grow rice and wheat. I will be so rich that I will be able to drive in a carriage like the wife of the merchant Ramdas, and when she says “will you marry my son my dear?” I will stand up, turn around and walk away saying, “I don’t want anything to do with such proud people like you and your son.” As she got up proudly she walked right into the stack of pots. The poor girl was awakened from her dream. She saw the broken pots lying all around her and sat down and cried bitterly. When working, our mind should be focused on the prescribed work and duty. Frequent practice of this pose will develop deep concentration, which is required in Dharana, the sixth limb of Ashtanga Yoga.
Avoid this pose if suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries or pain. Women who are menstruating and who are pregnant should avoid this pose as it pushes the abdomen inwards.