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Crow Pose Tutorial with Variations

Allie Flavio
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Arm balances can be tricky, complex, and frustrating at times – we’ve all been there. Let me paint the typical yoga scenario:

Yoga teacher says, “Plant your hands, bring the knees to the backs of the triceps, and then lift up into crow pose.”

The person next to you gracefully floats up and stays lifted without a care in the world.

Meanwhile, you’re sweating bullets, gritting your teeth, not able to find the knee-to-arm connection, and those feet aren’t lifting anywhere, not even an inch.
Let’s change this entire scenario and start flying, shall we?

Arm balance postures boil down to one simple notion: COURAGE.

Just like when you learned how to ride a bike — it’s necessary to fall and get back up again. The ability to face our fears and move past them is half the battle, my friends!

For this specific tutorial, we will focus on crow arm balance postures, as these are widely popular throughout yoga classes today. Start practicing these tips today and check back with us when you’re flying tomorrow!


Crow Pose – Bakasana

1. Begin in a low squat and plant the hands in front of you.
2. Spread the fingers wide and ground down through the entire hand and fingertips – feel how supportive the ground is beneath you!
3. Gaze about 6 inches ahead and find a focus point. Cultivate a laser beam focus on this point – never let it waver.
4. Bend the arms and create a shelf to place the knees on.
5. Connect the knees to the back of the triceps.
6. Engage the core center by bringing the belly up and in.
7. Lean forward and lift the feet off the ground. Keep gazing forward & engaging the core center!


Side Crow Pose – Parsva Bakasana

1. Begin in a low squat with the legs together.
2. Keep squeezing the knees and legs together and rotate the torso to the left.
3. Plant the hands shoulder-width apart about a foot in front of you.
4. Transition the legs towards the back of the arms and bring right hip to right elbow and right knee to left elbow.
5. Engage the core center by bringing belly up and in.
6. Gaze forward and find a focus point!
7. Lean forward and slowly lift the feet off the ground.

*If this comes easily, practice not resting the right hip on the right elbow and instead only connecting right knee to left elbow.



Side Crow Pose + Split Leg Variation

1. Do all of the same tips as above to get into Side Crow.
2. Lean the face towards the ground and begin to split the legs.
3. Bring the right leg towards the face and send the left leg straight back.


One Legged Crow Pose – Eka Pada Bakasana

1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog and prepare the body.
2. Bring the left knee up and in – aiming it towards the left armpit (as high as it can go), and resting it on the left triceps.
3. Lean forward and come onto the ball of the back right foot – simply flirting with the posture.
4. Gaze forward and find a focus point.
5. Activate the core center by bringing belly up and in.
6. Continue leaning forward and slowly begin to pick up the back right foot.
7. The right leg must be ACTIVE here – strong and long.

The end goal of yoga asana is to find a moment of stillness

The end goal of yoga asana is to find a moment of stillness – a moment where thoughts have melted away, a moment where the breath is powerful yet calm, and a moment where the mind, body, and soul are working harmoniously together. This moment can be achieved in arm balance postures because they require your entire being to connect and move as one.

The most important takeaways from this tutorial are: engage the core center, send the gaze to a focus point, spread the fingertips wide and root down through the entire hand, and above all, practice COURAGE! What are your favorite tips & tricks for arm balance postures? Do you love bakasana but fear eka pada bakasana? Comment below with questions, suggestions, or general yoga love!
Want to follow along in a video?


Want to learn to handstand? Check out the 7-class Learning to Handstand program


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Allie Flavio

Allie is the soul behind TheJourneyJunkie.com and a yoga girl at heart. After years of gymnastics and cheerleading, yoga came naturally into her life and at the perfect timing. With no motivation for fitness and a lack of purpose or dharma, yoga and Allie quickly fell for one another and the rest is history. When Allie’s not blogging about yoga/travel advice or doing/teaching yoga, you can find her relaxing by the beach in sunny St. Petersburg, FL. A born and raised Florida girl, Allie is an outdoor junkie who loves the ocean, fresh air, and a delicious fish sandwich! To learn more about her yoga and travel adventures, check out her blog The Journey Junkie.


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