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Kakasana or Crow Pose

kakasana crow pose
English Name(s)
Crow Pose
Sanskrit
काकासन/ Kakasana
Pronunciation
kah-KAHS-uh-nuh
Meaning
Kaka = crow
Asana = asana means pose; posture

Kakasana at a Glance

Kakasana, or the crow pose, is an arm-balancing pose. This pose needs physical, mental, and emotional strength to perform it. It’s a challenging pose that requires focus and concentration, improves your inner strength, and boosts your confidence. It’s considered an important yoga pose under the Hatha yoga poses.

Benefits:

  • Kakasana strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders.
  • Kakasana helps to improve the focus and balance.
  • Crow poses help to develop inner strength and improve your confidence level.
  • Crow pose helps to strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Kakasana can help with a better digestion process.
  • This pose strengthens the abdominal muscles, especially the lower abdominal muscles and the lumbar spine area.

Who can do it?

Individuals already practicing yoga can do Kakasana under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher. Intermediate and advanced-level yoga practitioners can do it. Athletes with good upper body strength can do the crow pose. Individuals with good wrist and arm strength and flexibility can do the crow pose, and people who want to improve their core strength can do Kakasana pose.

Who should not do it?

Kakasana pose is advanced and challenging, so it’s difficult for everyone to try. Beginners should not do it initially. Pregnant women should avoid doing it. People with arms, wrist or shoulder injuries should avoid doing it. With any recent surgery, people should avoid doing it. Individuals with very high blood pressure should avoid doing it.

How to Do Kakasana?

Follow the Step-by-Step Instructions

Kakasana is a challenging pose, and it’s important that you do the warm-up and the preparatory poses to match the strength needed for the crow pose.

  1. After doing the warm-up and the preparatory poses, sit on the mat, stretch your legs out straight, and rotate your ankles inward and outward like you rotate your wrist.
  2. Take a deep breath and connect your mind and body for the crow pose.
  3. Inhale deeply, bend your knees and bring your feet close to you (buttocks).
  4. Keep your feet apart, then the hip width, and see your toes pointing outward.
  5. Next, support your palms on the floor, fingers spread your fingers widely, lift your body (buttocks off the ground), and bring your body balance on the feet in the garland pose (Malasana).
  6. Keeping the grip of your feet, bring your torso (trunk). Breathe deeply, keep your palms on the floor firmly, and bend the elbows slightly.
  7. Your knees should be supported on the back of the elbow (let your upper arms support your knees.), inhaling and placing the knees close to the elbow.
  8. Now breathe out and bring your body (torso forward) in the front. Your heels should be off the ground and on the support of the toes.
  9. Press the torso forward between the thighs. Then, squeeze the knees into the outer armpits and the thighs into the ribs. Press against the inner legs with the outer arms.
  10. To maintain proper posture, look down to the ground and see that your body is properly balanced on the toes. The knees are placed properly at the back of the elbows, and your face should be parallel to the floor.
  11. Now, keeping your body in balance, inhale and slowly raise one foot off the floor (tilt your hip slightly), inhale again, lift the other foot off the ground, and exhale completely.
  12. Keep the knees together and the hands on the floor beside the hips. Lean back slightly so your weight rests on the outer edge of the sitting bones, and you can easily lift your feet off the floor.
  13. You must engage your core and pelvis muscles to balance your body.
  14. When you lift your feet, keep a particular point to gaze for a steady balance.
  15. While in the posture, breathe evenly, gently and steadily, and reaching this final position may take a lot of practice.
  16. The soles of your feet face upwards.
  17. Be in this final pose for a few breaths within your comfort limit, and do not overdo more than your physical limits.
  18. Stay here for a few breaths and release from the Crow Pose. First, bring the face down and lower the back down without putting pressure on the wrists and the hip, bring the feet down and place them on the floor, and sit in Malasana (Garland Pose) again and bring the hands in Namaste releasing the body from the pose and bring the spine straight and relax in the resting pose, the Balasana pose.

What are the Benefits of Kakasana?

  • The Crow Pose Kakasana strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders.
  • It strengthens the abdomen when you stretch your upper back and stretches the gluteus, quadriceps, and wrist flexors.
  • The balancing crow pose enhances the power of concentration and coordination.
  • It Strengthens abdominal muscles and stretches your upper back and inner groin.
  • Crow Pose strengthens your core, hip flexors, chest, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
  • When you practice it regularly improves flexibility to achieve more advanced yoga poses. It can be helpful to focus on strengthening your quadriceps and wrists.
  • It also reduces the stiffness caused by sitting for a more extended period.
  • Regular practice of the Kakasana pose can help improve your mindfulness and mental clarity.
  • This yoga pose helps to boost your self-confidence level and self-esteem.
  • Deep breathing and focused concentration help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from the Crow Pose

  • Doing the crow pose compresses the abdominal area, which can help stimulate digestion and relieve constipation and bloating.
  • The Kakasana crow yoga pose can add strength to the pelvic floor muscles, which can help individuals with certain pelvic floor disorders.
  • People struggling with balance and coordination issues can be befitted if they practice this Crow pose.
  • Practicing the Crow pose regularly can improve your core strength and reduce your lower back pain issues.
  • Kakasana pose can benefit people looking to improve their cognitive skills and mental clarity.
  • This can help to improve your body awareness and sharpen the mind-body connection.
  • This helps to develop mindfulness and focus on the present.

Safety and Precautions

To perform Kakasana, one needs good wrist, arms, and shoulder strength and a good balance to maintain the position for a long time.

  • Those suffering from cerebral thrombosis should avoid the Kakasana pose. Don’t attempt Kakasana if you have any arm, wrist, or shoulder injury. 
  • Those with high blood pressure should not do this pose as the pressure on the chest can further constrict the arteries and increase the blood pressure. 
  • Avoid the Kakasana pose if you are pregnant and during your menstrual cycle.
  • People with Carpel tunnel syndrome should also not attempt this process.
  • If you are a beginner the Kakasana pose yoga, seek professional assistance to learn it properly to avoid any potential injury.
  • You must be patient and consistent enough to get through the pose.             
  • Use props (the help of a yoga trainer) to comfort and make this Kakasana yoga pose doable.
  • Avoid if you have any injury in your wrist, shoulders, or arms.
  • People with very high blood pressure should avoid it as the pressure on the chest can constrict the arteries and increase the blood pressure further.

Common Mistakes

  • The placement of arms should be proper, not too close nor too far.
  • Avoiding to engage core muscles while doing the Kakasana crow yoga pose.
  • Don’t lower your chest too much for the Kakasana crow yoga pose.
  • A warm-up of wrists and forearms is important for the Crow pose.
  • In the Crow pose, your Knees shouldn’t slide off your back arm.
  • Beginners should do this with the support of props and under the guidance of a yoga trainer.
  • Lack of concentration and balance can lead to injury in the Kakasana yoga pose.
  • Avoid holding your breath for the Crow pose.

Tips For Kakasana

  • You can start with the Squat pose for the Crow pose.
  • You should be doing a proper warm-up before you start this asana.
  • Place your hands on the floor before you, shoulder-width apart.
  • Activate the lower abdomen and squeeze the hips together.
  • Build up your core strength before you start the Kakasana pose.
  • Shins rest upon upper arms, and feet lift.
  • Use blocks below your feet to support you and gradually gain confidence to go into the pose deeper.
  • Support your forehead with cushions or yoga blocks for better support for the Crow pose.
  • Your fingers should be spread widely for support and balance on the ground.
  • You can gaze downward or slightly forward, but remember to fix the gaze at one point for better balance and concentration, which will help you be stable in the pose.
  • Practice it on an empty stomach or 4 to 5 hours after the meal.

Preparatory Pose and Resting Pose

The Physical Alignment Principles for Kakasana

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
  • Squat on the floor with legs slightly apart. Place the hands on the floor and let the palms feel the floor.
  • The hand should be placed slightly wider than the hip width on the mat.
  • The head should be in line with the shoulders.
  • Keep the Chin away from the chest for the Crow pose.
  • Keep your back active for the Crow pose.
  • Your fingers should be widely placed on the mat for a firm grip.
  • Fingers should be pointing forward, and palms firmly pressed against the mat.
  • Exhale and lean forward, bringing the body to your toes
  • Bend your elbows slightly in the Crow pose and should be above the wrists.
  • Keep the elbows pulled in close to the body and shoulder blades engaged for the Crow pose.
  • Your knees should be supported on the back of your arms.
  • Your big toes will be pointing slightly towards each other.
  • The bent arms and knees are resting on the back of the elbows.
  • Engaging your core (tucking your navel to your spine) is mandatory for balance and stability in the Crow pose.
  • In the Kakasana crow pose, your gaze should be fixed and fixed to one point, not too up or down.
  • Avoid arching or rounding your back. Keep it straight.
  • Your weight should be equally distributed on the arms, not too forward nor backward.
  • Maintain your breath throughout the crow pose.
  • Be gentle while you exit; don’t just come down with a jerk. Land your feet slowly, come to the Malasana pose, and then go for the resting pose.
  • In the Kakasana crow pose, Props are important if you are a beginner or have a slight balancing issue, folded blanket, or cushion under the head.
  • It’s important to note that you should initially do Kakasana crow pose yoga practice under the guidance of the trained yoga teacher for the proper alignment.

Breath and the Kakasana

Breath control is an essential part of yoga. As you are ready to set for the Kakasana pose, inhale deeply. Keep your hands and knees as it should be for this asana. As you lift your feet, inhale and exhale as you balance your body forward and engage your core while breathing out, which will stabilize the pose. When you are in the crow pose, keep your breath flowing in and out, relaxing your body and mind. Keep your focus and concentration on the movement of your breath, and avoid holding your breath. It can create stress and unstable your body. When you want to release the crow pose, exhale and bring down the feel slowly and gently. Breathe mindfully.

Kakasana Crow Arms Balance Pose and the Variations

  • You can start with a one-legged crow pose instead of both legs
  • Kakasana crow poses with the support of yoga blocks or cushions.
  • Kakasana poses with the wall support, place your feet on the wall for support, and work with the balance initially.
  • Practice lifting one foot off the ground one time to develop balance.

Difference between Crow Pose and Crane Pose

Both these poses are arm balancing poses. While Crow Pose (Kakasana) has the arms bent like a crow bird, in Crane (Bakasana), the arms are straight like the crane bird.

Take Away

The Crow and Crane pose are arm balances where palms and hands are only pointed on the ground. Crow pose or Kakasana needs physical strength, coordination, and mental focus. Strengthens arms so they can hold your body weight. It would take time initially to reach the perfect pose, and you need to practice regularly.

Practice the Crow pose under a trained yoga professional to get the proper alignment and procedure. Don’t push yourself to get into the pose before you are ready. This is a challenging asana. It helps to strengthen your upper body, improves balance, and boosts your self-confidence. Regular practice with coordination of breath can lead to increased body awareness and reduced stress levels.

Yoga is not just a practice; it’s a way of life. Take the first step towards a meaningful career by enrolling in our comprehensive online yoga teacher training courses. Choose from 200-Hrs Yoga Teacher Training, 300-Hrs Yoga Teacher Training, or 500-Hrs Yoga Teacher Training Programs – all crafted to help you master the art of teaching yoga. Embrace your passion, become a certified yoga instructor, and empower others to find their inner peace and strength.

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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