The Raven Pose, Bakasana: what is it?

From the Sanskrit name Bakasana, the crow posture is a posture of balance, delicacy and strength . This asana (posture) is considered easy and accessible for beginner yogis. If you are an intermediate yogi and you don’t know how to do it yet, don’t panic. It is probably because you have apprehensions , that you are afraid or that you have not yet found the right technique. I therefore explain step by step how to perform the crow pose, which muscles are used and what are its benefits.

How to perform the crow pose?

Before moving on to the different steps that will allow you to perform the crow pose, it is important to warm up. This asana being complete, it is necessary to warm up the whole body. However, you can pay special attention to the wrists and shoulders. Indeed, all your weight will be distributed on your wrists. 

  1. In a squatting posture on your yoga mat, keep your feet together and your big toes together, or your feet hip-width apart. Without your butt touching the ground, try to find your balance.
  2. Spread your palms and all your fingers on the floor. Arranging them in this way will prevent the weight from concentrating only on your wrists. It is also important so that you can grip the ground. Hand placement is important. Spread them shoulder width apart.
  3. Bend your arms, lift your feet off the ground and place your knees in the armpits or at the elbows.
  4. During an exhale, lean forward, and keeping your toes together, lift your feet.
  5. Your gaze should be straight ahead, towards the end of your rug.
  6. Once in this posture, push the ground back by pushing your arms back into the ground and rounding your back.

There are several variations of the crow pose. These methods are only different because of the alignment of the knees. They can be :

  • stuck under the armpits;
  • placed at the back of the arms;
  • outside the arms.

The version known to be the easiest is the one where the knees are placed on the outside. Indeed, this makes it possible to exit the position more easily and to continue the sequence on a board for example. However, these are only generalities. It’s up to you to judge and adjust the position according to your feelings. We do not all see the difficulty in the same places. In any case, you can maintain this posture for about 30 seconds and return gently to the initial position. You can rest in the corpse pose, also called Savasana, or in the child pose, Balasana

How to use the accessories to start?

The yoga accessories such as bricks (also called blocks yoga) are very useful in this posture. To give yourself a boost or to overcome your fears, you can also bring cushions or a yoga towel . Here are my tips and methods to help you use them:

  1. Place the blocks under your feet to raise yourself up. You will gain height and it will be easier to enter the posture. To gauge and find the point of balance, I suggest that you start by lifting one foot after the other. 
  2. Putting a yoga brick in front of you will allow you to come and lay your head on it. Thus, you will not be able to switch forward because you will be held back.
  3. To stay in the same vein as the yoga brick, you can place a pillow in front in case you fall head first. It can help you reduce your apprehensions.

What are the benefits of the bakasana pose?

Bakasana is full of physical benefits, but also psychological benefits. You should not feel any muscle tension whatsoever in the knee, hips, bust, lower back, buttocks, thighs, etc. Your body is toned but you must not strain or tense up. Remember the importance of breathing.

Regarding the benefits on the body, the crow allows to:

  • strengthen the abdominal muscles and wrists;
  • stimulate the organs of the abdomen;
  • develop strength in the arms, forearms, triceps, torso and shoulders;
  • improve balance;
  • stretch and lengthen the spine;
  • develop flexibility over the long term, etc.

Like all yoga postures, the latter also has positive effects on the mind , as it:

  • improves psychological balance;
  • increases concentration;
  • develops perseverance;
  • learns coordination of gestures, etc.
What are the contraindications and the common mistakes in performing this asana?

Although this posture is fun and represents a real challenge for some (e), there are contraindications. They are not suitable for:

  • people who suffer from lower back, back and shoulder pain;
  • pregnant women.

Although you do not particularly suffer from the aches mentioned above, this posture may not be suitable for you. Indeed, do not forget to listen to your body and analyze the sensations that run through it. Learn to differentiate between a working muscle and a hurting muscle or nerve. Do not minimize your feelings and get out of the posture immediately (smoothly) if necessary.

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