Bakasana, also known as the Crane Pose, is an arm balancing yoga pose that builds strength in the forearms and wrists as well as the pelvis while stretching the upper back and opening up the groin. It also helps in developing core muscles and enhancing balance.
To perform this asana it is extremely important to be physically and mentally prepared. For this posture, your hands should be strong enough to lift the entire body. But the first thing you need to do is to overcome the fear that falls on your face in this dynamic arm balancing yoga posture. You need to take a deep breath, let go of your fears, and take a leap of faith.
You will also need to lay a strong foundation; strong shoulders and arms to support your body weight. Your strong core muscles form this foundation. This will help you lift and maneuver your knees, and bring you closer to your upper arms. This will help you stay completely lighter, let alone load the load on the wrist. You also need flexible hips.
The name Bakasana came from the Sanskrit name of two words — Baka + Asana:
- “Baka” = “crane”
- “Asana” = “pose or posture”
The crane is an Asian symbol for happiness and youthfulness, which is also stands for longevity in Chinese symbolism. Bakasana – Crane Pose is the culmination of these three symbols and by practicing it, these three traits will be ensured. It takes a leap of faith to get into this yoga asana, but once you do that, you definitely feel light and joyful. This fun yoga pose is sure to renew your attitude towards life.
|Also known as:||Bakasana, Crane Pose, Crane (crow) Pose|
|Total time:||20 to 60 seconds|
|Drishti:||Down and forward toward fingertips|
|Focus:||Arms (Wrist, palm, biceps, triceps, forearms)|
|Counterposes:||Child’s Pose (Balasana), Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)|
|Preparatory poses:||Downward Facing Dog Pose, Boat Pose, Staff Pose, Garland Pose|
|Follow-up poses:||Downward Dog Pose, Dolphin Plank Pose, Plank Pose|
|Contraindications:||Wrist or shoulder injury, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Pregnancy|
Benefits of Bakasana – Crane Pose
The following physical and mental benefits will be gained by practicing the Bakasana – Crane Pose, if you keep the proper alignment and breathing awareness in mind:
- Physical Benefits:
- Mental Benefits:
- Develops focus
- Improves concentration
How To Do Bakasana – Crane Pose?
- Start by standing in mountain pose. Stand tall and straight with the feet hip-width apart, bend the knees and place your hands flat on the floor.
- Bend the elbows, bring the knees to the back of your upper arms, come onto your toes, and begin to transfer more weight onto the hands. Press the knuckles down and create a clawing action with the fingers to engage the muscles of your hands and wrists. Draw the muscles in and up from the back of the wrists to your shoulders. With an inhale, puff up the middle back creating a fullness and lift there.
- Lift one leg at a time.
- Press your inner edges of your feet together, along your big toe side, squeezing your legs to the midline — through the core of the body in line with the spine and between the legs. Keep lifting upward into the middle back with the breath. Straighten the arms. Squeeze the inner edges of the feet and inner thighs together toward the midline.
- Stay in this position for 20-60 seconds. To release yourself from this pose, shift the bodyweight back until both of the feet are back on the ground.
- Rise to stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand tall and straight with the feet separated enough to feel stable. Establish a solid connection with the ground by shifting the weight distribution so that it is equally divided between the base of the big toes, the base of the little toes, and both left and right sides of the heels.
Do and don’t
- In the beginning, lift the legs one by one, until you have enough strength and power to lift them both.
- Here your center of mass is slightly above the navel. Try to bring that point just above the distance between the two hands. This will help you in maintaining balance.
- Do not be discouraged when you fall while doing Bakasana – Crane Pose. In the beginning, everyone falls while performing this yoga pose.
- You can place a folded blanket or yoga block under the palms for a better grip and comfort.
- For better support, you can seek the help of a partner.
- While performing the Bakasana – Crane Pose, you may topple forward and get injured. So keep something soft like a pile of pillows or blankets in front of you, so that you don’t get injured when you topple forward.
- Don’t focus the weight on the wrist or fingers only. Spread it evenly on the palms, fingers and wrists of both hands.
- Try not to look back towards the heels, as this can cause imbalance. Try to look straight ahead.
- While doing this yoga pose, don’t spread out the elbows as this can put extra pressure on the wrist. Keep them in line with your shoulders and elbows.
- Don’t wear slippery clothes like silk clothes in this posture. Since these clothes are slippery, they can cause problems by bending the knees.
The Bakasana – Crane Pose is considered a intermediate level yoga pose and is classified under arm balance pose, it is very important to keep some points in mind while practicing, some of which are given below:
1. Injury to the hips, knees, wrists or shoulders
If there is any injury to the hips, knees, wrists or shoulders, it is best to avoid the practice of bacasana or crane pose. The best option is to modify this pose with props or support.
A sudden gush of blood towards the head while bending to regain balance can cause further heaviness in the head and therefore, individual suffering from a migraine should avoid practicing this yoga pose.
3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
Avoid practicing this yoga pose, if individuals are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Pregnant women and menstrual cycle
Should not be performed by women who are pregnant or women during their menstrual cycle. It is best to seek advice from experts here. Also, avoid performing it during menstrual cycles.
5. Blood pressure
Blood pressure patients will find it difficult to balance or concentrate and therefore it would be best to avoid.
Avoid practicing this pose, if you are suffering from spondylitis.