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pose of the week - crow (bakasana)

Crow or bakasana was the first arm balancing pose I conquered and in the split second I held it I felt like the king of the word! There is something really powerful about balancing your entire body just on the hands, knowing that if this is possible, anything is. It’s a truly empowering moment to realise how strong is our body.

Balancing on your arms requires a lot of internal focus, it's not something you just jump into. You build towards it and one day you gather all your troops, take a leap of faith and fly. And if it doesn't work the first time, you try again, and then again and then another 100 times. 

If you want to prep and build core strength check out the video below. It's a crunches exercise that will fire up your abs and give you the right fuel to just take off and fly into your crow pose.

Come into a plank pose on a hardwood floor, with a blanket, towel, jumper, anything really under your feet.

Firm your upper outer arms in, synch your abdominals and slowly either:  bend your knees and drag them tight into your chest, or if you want a hundred times harder version - keep the knees straight, use your abdominals and shoot your bum into the air, dragging feel to land between your palms.

Repeat until sweat is starting to cover your eyes, but keep some energy left for the final flight into your crow pose.

For crow: squat down with your feet just a few inches apart. If it isn’t possible to keep your heels on the floor, support them on a rolled up blanket or a block. Separate your knees wider than your hips, bend your elbows and snuggle your shins against the backs of the upper arms.

The hands are incredible tools that allow us to reach out into the world and bring our ideas, dreams and hopes into reality. Rather than judging our arms as being too weak or too big, just thank them for doing their job of connecting our hands to our bodies and to the world. So now spread your fingers wide so you create as much platform and grounding a possible. Push the floor away with your palms and feel how much strength you've already got. Synch your abdominals asking them to turn on, this is the core of your strength both emotional and physical. Slowly start leaning the torso forward and press your shins tighty against the backs of the upper arms by engaging your adductors.

Lift up onto the balls of your feet and lean forward even more, keep squeezing those shins in. 

Maybe lift one foot...maybe then lift the other foot...

If it is scary, put a pillow under your face. As a beginner, you might want to stop here and play a little bit with tap dancing your feet.

But if you are ready to play...squeeze the legs against the arms, press the inner hands firmly to the floor. INHALE and straighten the elbows.

You've got this!

*if you are hyperextending your elbows just as much as I normally do, keep your elbows slightly bent. 

Stay as long as you can, keep breathing. To release, exhale and slowly lower your feet to the floor, back into a squat.