On Sundays we all crow!

Every Sunday my buddies and I hold each other accountable and try to work on our crow pose (Bakasana).  We hold the pose for as long as we comfortably can to build strength, stamina and stability in the wrists.  The benefits can be seen in any arm balance practices as well as the mighty handstand too!   If you would like to give it a go follow the steps/drills below and if you would like to join in post a picture and please tag me and #longcrowhold2017 so we can follow your progress!

PURPOSE: STRENGThen wrists/core/forearms/shoulders, BALANCE (finding your centre of gravity), and bandha engagement.
DRILLS:
  • Warm up the wrists – hold up your arms keeping the wrists in line with the shoulders.  Squeeze the palms closed, then stretch the finger tips open (like you’re miming flashing lights) and repeat 15 times.  You should feel the forearms light up.  Rest and repeat again.

    Crow crunches

  • Warm up the core with a few sun salutations
  • Hollow body plank for 15 seconds
  • Crow crunches: Start seated with the legs in front,  feet hip width apart (pictured to the right).  Think about creating as much space in the upper back, rounding, drawing the belly in and then reach the arms through, until you can get the knees to squeeze the triceps – then squeeeeeeeze mulabandha (pelvic floor), uddiyana bandha (deep core), abductors, everything.  Hold for 3 breathes and then with control lower down to the floor, keeping that hollow body and rounding in the upper spine. Repeat 3 times.
Crow time:

1 – Set up – kneel down onto your tip toes,  plant hands down on the floor shoulder width apart, lift your sit bones high, let your knees lean on the back of your arms (Aim for the armpits – they will scooch down!), scoop the belly in and gaze forward.

1. Set up for crow

2 – Create a shelf with the backs of the triceps and bend the elbows.  You want your knees to rest down on the tricep shelf and start to engage the inside of the thighs.  The further up you can set your knees on the arms the better.  Come up onto the tippy toes and lean forward, gaze forward. Push down through the finger tips and knuckles.

2. Lean forward

3 – Engage the pelvic floor, engage abs, lift your hips up as high as possible.  Lift up one foot and balance there, feeling the weight on the hands and keep lifting everything up, up, up, and looking forward.  Come down and rest if you need to then work through the steps and try the other foot and/or maybe both feet!

3. Lift up one foot

5 – GAZE FORWARD! No matter if you lift up or not,  gaze forward, 6 inches past your mat! If you don’t you are just setting yourself up for a rollypolly!

6 – Hold for as long as comfortably possible, working on rounding the spine, engaging mulabandha (Pelvic floor) and uddiyana bandha (engaging and scooping the deep stomach muscles).  Think about how you adjust the pressure in your hands to counter balance the weight as you tip forward and back.

Lift up to crow

7 – Childs pose! Rest and let the palms face up, giving the wrists a break.

TOP TIPS:

  • LOOK FORWARD !!!!
  • Broaden the pecs, don’t allow the shoulders to collapse forward, use the strength in the shoulders
  • Don’t fear falling – have a pillow if you like! You are only a few inches off the floor and your hands will instinctively protect you before your face is anywhere near the ground.
  • Start with your feet on a block to gain some height
  • Aim on getting your knees tucked up to the armpits, they will naturally slip down as your bend into the elbows but use your hip flexor strength to keep the knees as high on the triceps  as possible.

NAILED IT? 

  • Are you breathing?  Can you count your inhale and exhale?  See how long you can comfortably stay in crow. 
  • Try a fun transition:
    • crow to tripod headstand
    • crow to chaturunga
    • jump from downward facing dog into crow

Remember this stuff doesn’t come overnight, practice, practice, practice (with us on Sundays on Instagram)! 

Leave me a comment or suggestions for other poses you want to work on. 

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