We are so proud to welcome a new guest blogger, Christie Pitko! She is one of our new Aurorae Yoga Teacher Sponsorship recipients and so kindly offered to write about another #StrongYogi pose that she loves, crow pose. Let’s have Christie take it from here…
Flight of You: Crow Pose
Thinking back to the hours of frustration and the nine years of attempting (yes, nine years) gives me a chuckle. I used to think that crow pose was halting my advancement in yoga. I would practice whenever I had a spare moment: during commercial breaks, before lunch, after folding my laundry. Sometimes, I would get one toe to hover in the air, other times I’d fall forward on my head.
I gradually came to realize that yoga is much more than attaining the perfect arm balance. One day, I just stopped worrying about nailing the pose. I spread my wings, and jumped off the cliff.
Practicing Bakasana, or crow pose, can boost your confidence and also:
- Build strength in the core, shoulders, arms, and wrists
- Encourage a better sense of balance, preparing you for more difficult balances
- Stretch the upper back
Prepping to Soar
Give yourself permission to let go and have fun. You may fail, you may fall, but one day you will fly!
Begin in balasana (child’s pose) and take several rounds of cat and cow. Move into a warming flow, and be sure to include hip openers like crescent lunge (both low and high), virabhadrasana II (warrior II), and utthita parsvakonasana (side angle). Throw in side plank as arm balance prep.
The Set Up
- Start in a low squat with your feet hip distance apart (it’s okay if they naturally want to be wider than that), hands flat on the ground, fingers evenly spread. Stay as low as you can. If your heels do not touch the ground, place a rolled up blanket underneath for them to rest on.
- Keep your elbows bent (think chaturanga arms). Slowly walk your legs towards your arms, drawing the knees into the armpits. Snuggle the legs and arms in. Pause.
- Shoot your sits bones up towards the sky as you continue to draw your knees to your armpits. Keep the palms pressed into the ground.
- Gaze forward and only slightly down. (A common mistake is to completely drop your head to the ground and look between your feet. The weight of the head will throw the balance off.)
- Draw the navel in and round your spine like you would in cat pose.
- Rest your shins on your triceps. Keep drawing the navel in, and keep rounding the spine like a cat.
- Lean forward. Experiment by lifting one ball of the foot up off the ground, and then perhaps the other. Be playful!
Flight of You
- If you make it to the balance, keep your breath and gaze steady. Work the feet towards one another.
- To go even further, begin to straighten the elbows. Work towards holding the pose for 10 or more breaths.
Prepare with a light heart and a sense of adventure. Acknowledge how far you have come. Yoga is more than creating the perfect crow pose. Once you recognize this, balance will arise!