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Bakasana (Crane Pose)

bakasana
English Name(s)
Crane Pose
Sanskrit
बकासन / Bakāsana
Pronunciation
bahk-AHS-ah-nah
Meaning
Baka: Crane
Asana: Pose

Bakasana at a Glance

Bakasana, also known as the crane pose or crow pose, is a challenging yoga pose (arm balances) that requires balancing on the hands with the knees resting on the upper arms. Crane pose and Crow yoga pose are technically two different poses, in crow pose, your arms are bent and in crane pose your arms are straight, but many people practice these as modifications of one another.

Benefits:

  • The Bakasana pose strengthens your wrists, shoulders, and arms and stretches your upper back.
  • It helps to strengthen your abdominal organs and tones the groin area.
  • It helps to build your inner strength and enhances your body posture.
  • It helps to improve your digestive system.
  • This pose helps to improve your balance and core strength.

Who can do it?

The Bakasana pose is challenging, and intermediate and advanced yoga practitioners can do this yoga posture. People having good levels of arm and core strength can do this pose. Sportspersons and dancers can do the Bakasana yoga pose. People with both physical and mental strength can do this pose.

Who should not do it?

Beginners should avoid doing the Bakasana pose. People struggling with balance and strength issues should avoid it. Any injury to your arms, wrists, shoulder, back, legs, or ankle should avoid doing this pose. Pregnant women should avoid it. Women during their menstrual cycle should avoid doing it. If you have undergone any surgery avoid doing this pose.

How to Do Bakasana?
Follow the Step-by-Step Procedure

This is an advanced and challenging pose, wherein you need, arm strength, and good willpower to support your physical and mental strength to get into the final posture. Always do the preparatory poses.

  1. Start with the Tadasana pose, stand with a hip-width apart and a straight spine, and take deep breaths to let out the tension in your body.
  2. Bend your knees and bend your upper body (torso forward), slightly forward, and bring your arms in between your knees, about shoulder distance apart, and avoid rounding your back.
  3. Spread your knees wider than your hip, place your hands (palms spread on the mat) on the floor, and bend your elbows, as if they would touch your toes and your triceps touching your shin just below the knee.
  4. Now without disturbing the alignment just bring your hands closer to the feet, so that it is more firmly attached to the shin.
  5. In this stage, your fingers are spread wide on the mat, your body is parallel to the ground and you gaze down ahead of your palms at the ground.
  6. Now, slowly start bringing the weight on your arms, raise your heels, and gradually come onto the tip of your toes.
  7. Start pressing the top of the toes firmly to the ground and press your inner shin against your hands and vice-versa.
  8. Start supporting your body weight on your arms and stabilize the pose and your head still.
  9. Now without disturbing any of the alignment, slowly lift one foot off the mat and try bringing it closer to the buttock.
  10. Next lift your other leg (foot) slowly at the same level as the previous foot, closer to the buttocks join the feet, and balance.
  11. Now slowly straighten your elbows, let your feet be firm and together, and keep your inner thighs engaged and lift your body higher.
  12. Press your fingers to the ground and bring your body weight to your hands (wrist, fingertips, and palms).
  13. You can hold the pose for a few breaths, according to your strength, and keep breathing normally.
  14. When you are ready to exit the pose, inhale bring your feet to the floor, and come to the squat position.
  15. Do the counter pose for the pose, to release any tension, as the garland pose, Balasana, or upward-facing dog pose.

What are the Benefits of Bakasana?

  • The Bakasana pose helps to enhance the strength of your arms, wrists, and shoulders as they carry the entire body weight and reduce the risk of any injury.
  • It helps to strengthen and tone your arm, back, and abdominal muscles.
  • This yoga pose helps to develop the habit of balance and coordination with a lot of patience and confidence, which is helpful in your everyday life.
  • Your Sedentary lifestyle creates bad body posture and back pain, this pose can help with increasing the flexibility of your spine and improving your body posture.
  • It helps to stimulate your abdominal organs, which helps with the better digestion process and also helps to reduce your belly fat.
  • It helps to stimulate the Solar Plexus, crown, and throat chakras.
  • It enhances your mindfulness and improves your confidence level both mentally and physically.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Bakasana

  • If you want to reduce your muscle stiffness increase the flexibility of your body part and build your physical strength, you should practice this pose regularly.
  • Balance and coordination is the important key to getting a stable Bakasana pose, which can help to improve your concentration and focus more.
  • Regular practice of the Bakasana pose can help with mild depression issues.
  • This pose can be helpful for mild indigestion issues and to enhance your digestive system.
  • This also stretches and strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.

Safety and Precautions

  • Do not perform the Bakasana yoga pose if you have Carpal tunnel syndrome or spondylitis.
  • Avoid doing the Bakasana pose during pregnancy and the menstrual cycle.
  • For any injury or surgery, just avoid the crane pose.
  • People with hypertension or migraines should avoid doing this pose.
  • Warm-up and preparatory yoga poses are a must before doing this pose.
  • It is safe to keep your elbows in line with your shoulders.
  • Place a thick blanket or cushion in front of you to avoid injury, in case you fall or you have a fear of falling.
  • To lift away from the floor and resist gravity in the Bakasana, you need some serious core activation.

Common Mistakes

  • Avoid the whole-body weight, only on your wrist or fingers.
  • Once you come up into the Bakasana pose, do not let your elbows splay out to either side.
  • Avoid spreading your elbows to your sides.
  • Another common mistake is, allowing your hips to sink toward the floor.
  • Avoid rushing into the pose, take it slowly.
  • Avoiding to engage the core. Avoid holding your breath.

Tips for Bakasana

  • Hands should be shoulder-width apart and keep your fingers wide enough and your middle finger pointing forward.
  • Do not rest your legs on the arm.
  • Gaze slightly forward in front of your hands.
  • Place the knees on the forearm or upper arm.
  • If you are a beginner, do the Bakasana pose under the guidance of your yoga teacher.
  • Shins rest upon upper arms, and feet lift.
  • Do the stretching and warmup for your arms, wrists, and core.
  • Keep your core activated for balance and stability.
  • Keep breathing throughout the pose.

Physical Alignment Principles for Bakasana

  • Keep your hands rooted to the floor, fingers spread wide, and your arms straight.
  • Squeeze your knees to the upper arms.
  • Lift your feet towards your buttocks.
  • Keeping your elbows bent, lift the hips high.
  • Tuck knees near the armpit.
  • Body weight on your arms.
  • spread the weight from the inner side of the palms across the hands.
  • Engage your hip flexors and core, and tuck your navel to your spine.
  • Spread your shoulder blades and slightly round your upper back.
  • Slightly lower your hips.
  • Gaze ahead of your palm.
  • Keep your feet stuck to each other.

Bakasana and Breath

Coordinate your breath with your movement, inhale deeply exhale, bend down, and place your palms touching the floor. Inhale and bring your hands in front of your feet and exhale, keep your elbows bent, engage your core muscles, and shift your body weight on your arms.

Inhale deeply and focus on your breath and while you exhale shift your weight forward and lift the foot, one by one, and the toes close to the buttocks. Inhale and exhale to maintain focus and balance.

Bakasana and Variations

  • One leg Bakasana poses, lifting one leg off the floor.
  • Headstand to Bakasana pose.
  • You can use a yoga block to keep under your feet initially.
  • Keep a bolster or folded blanket in front of you for safety.
  • Side crow pose with straight legs.
  • Crow poses or Kakasana is a variation.
  • Variation from the downward-facing dog to the Bakasana pose.
  • You can also do this pose by supporting the wall and chair.

The Bottom Line

The Bakasana yoga pose is a challenging arm balance posture, which sometimes is difficult for everyone to get initially, but with regular practice, you can gradually get to the final posture. This pose helps to strengthen and increase the flexibility of your body. You may fear when you start but gradually you can build your confidence level and get your mind and body connection which will get you to this pose.

Initially do the Bakasana pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher and if any health concerns consult your health care professional. Make sure to do the warmup, preparatory, and counter poses and use the props if needed. Coordinate the pose movement with breath, giving you more stability and calming your body and mind.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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