6 Lead Up Poses to Baby Crow (baby bakasana) Pose

Trying to get into more complicated or advanced yoga poses is a goal for a lot of yoga practitioners.  Although doing more challenging poses takes strength, it doesn't mean the practitioner has to be an advanced yogi.  Working on strength in yoga is super important for all poses but especially arm balances.  Crow pose can be difficult and more of an intermediate pose. 

However someone with good body awareness and strength could accomplish this pose with a little extra practice. When I first started trying arm balances, crow pose was pretty difficult.  I was afraid of falling on my face.  It was also hard for me to lift my toes up off the mat.  My core was strong but not strong enough.  I also lacked upper body strength which is super important in any inversion or arm balance.

The following poses will help build core and supper body strength that is needed for crow pose.  Baby crow pose takes a little more strength, in my opinion, than regular crow pose.   As a runner increasing upper body and core strength is important for balancing the body as well.  Another added bonus is improving upper body and shoulder strength can help with posture.  Many of us sit at computers or in cars for many hours of the day.  Doing exercises to counter the hunch can help improve posture and overall confidence.  Try these lead up poses once a day or every other day and crow or baby crow pose will come.

Steps to Baby Crow

dolphin for crow pose prep

dolphin for crow pose prep

Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana): Start in downward facing dog, inhale reaching the hips up.  Exhale bending one elbow bringing the forearm to the mat, then bend the other elbow bringing the forearm to the mat.  Both elbows should be under the shoulders.  Continue to lift the hips up while heels reach down.  Engage the shoulder blades onto the back and gaze back toward feet.  Hold for a 3-10 breaths (might need to work up to longer holds) and move on to dolphin plank.  

forearm plank crow pose prep

forearm plank crow pose prep

Dolphin Plank (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana): From dolphin pose, bring the gaze forward and move the torso forward on an exhale.  Engage the belly toward the spin, scooping up in the hips and inner thighs.  Keep the elbows in the same line as the shoulders and continue to scoop the hips up, making a long line from the head down to the heels. Modification: bring the knees down to the mat while still engaging the core and shoulder blades onto the back.  Hold for a 5-10 breaths.  Push back to child's pose for a few breaths to rest.

crow pose prep

crow pose prep

Chaturanga: From child's pose, inhale looking forward and on the exhale push up to tabletop pose.  Spread the fingers wide and work the finger tips and base of the palms into the mat. Push the mat away with the palms and fingers.  Inhale curling the toes under.  Exhale the hips up, straightening through the legs and coming to plank pose.  Hold here for a breath or two while engaging the core and inner thighs.  Exhale and bend the elbows, hugging the upper arms toward the ribs.  Lower the body down toward the mat, keeping the head, neck, back and bum in line.  Shoulders should not dip forward or below the elbows.  Hold for 2-5 breaths and release to the floor.  When ready, press back to downward facing dog.

lizard for crow pose prep

lizard for crow pose prep

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Lizard Pose: From downward facing dog, inhale the right leg up behind and exhale looking forward while stepping the right foot in between the hands.  Walk the right foot out a couple inches keeping the ankle in line with the knee.  Place the right hand to the inside of the right foot.  Stay here or exhale bending the elbows, placing the forearms to the mat.  Keep the left heel working toward the back of the mat.  Hold here working on getting the torso low while stretching through the inner thigh and hamstring of the right leg.  Repeat on the other side.

malasana crow pose prep

malasana crow pose prep

Garland Pose (Malasana):  Start in downward facing dog.  Inhale bending the knees and looking forward.  Exhale stepping the feet behind the ankles (knees can be slightly bent or really bent), reaching the hips up while folding forward.  Hold for a breath or two, stretching through the backs of the legs.

Aright, here we go! After trying the prep poses a few times, move into crow or jump right in to baby crow.

baby crow pose

baby crow pose

Baby Crow (baby bakasana):  Start in downward facing dog pose.  Bend one elbow and then the other lowering down to the forearms (dolphin pose).  Inhale bend the knees and look between the forearms.  Exhale stepping the feet to the center of the mat, hip distance apart.  Keep the knees bent and walk the feet forward bringing the knees up high on the triceps (backs of the arms) or into the back of the armpit crease.  Inhale, pressing into the palms and forearms and lean the torso forward a bit.  Exhale while lifting one or both feet up off of the mat.  Hug the heels toward the sitting bones.  Hold for as long as you like.  Release the feet to the mat and come to a forward fold.

Cheers,

Val

Disclaimer: The information on this website (Alt Yoga Vibe) is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical treatment or hands on instruction.  If you are experiencing any severe pain or symptoms, please consult a healthcare practitioner.