Crow pose

Move of the Month: Crow Pose

Words: Gemma Dawkins

It’s July, which means many things in Australia: fluffy slippers, hot dinners, and faux Christmas celebrations. At Barre Body, it also means mastering an arm balance. That’s because Crow pose – Bakasana to the Sanskrit fluent among us – is our Move of the Month.

Aside from looking very impressive on your insta (we recommend a beach or mountain backdrop for maximum effect), Crow pose has a whole lot of benefits, which you’ll hopefully begin to feel by month’s end. We’ve rounded up the top three for you:

  1. Get those fingers flying

How many times have you heard your Barre Body teacher mention something about ‘spreading the fingertips’ or ‘pressing into the pads of the fingers’? And that’s just in Downward Dog! When you’re in Crow, the constant tiny shifts of your weight will see you distributing weight into your fingertips and learning to rebalance by using your hand and wrist strength. Instead of just locking into your wrists and elbows, you’ll find yourself developing great technique which will apply throughout your practice, and strengthen the correct muscles to stop overloading your wrists.

  1. It’s a balance for your brain as well as your bod

Yogi Ling Beisecker calls Crow pose “the perfect balance of holding on and letting go”. You’re practicing holding on to all of the physical technique required to execute this tricky pose, while mentally you’ll need to let go of your fears enough to trust your body and take flight. The kind of focus and mental clarity required means that you’ll be forced to forget your to-do list, your looming deadline or your dinner plans and just be in the moment. And really, that’s what it’s all about!

  1. Let’s get physical

Aside from the mental benefits, we can’t ignore the obvious physical ones. Crow pose strengthens your upper body, your inner thighs, and your wrists, as well as strengthening the abdominal organs that can assist with digestion.

Of course there’s no denying that this pose can feel a little intimidating, and a lot like you’re about to face-plant. That’s why we’ve been teaching it in our classes with plenty of modifications and layers. If you’re trying this at home, Yoga Journal offers a few great tips to modify your pose so that you can practice safely.

If you like to keep things twisted, give side crow (Parsva Bakasana) a try with this blanket hack.

Happy balancing!