Crow Pose can make you feel strong and flexible when you do it for the first time. It can be very exhilarating and confidence building. That kind of confidence is important in Yoga and this pose can help to build it.
Here are some tips for getting crow pose right.
1. Set the foundation.
Your hands are the foundation and should be shoulder-distance apart with fingers spread wide. Spread your weight evenly across the whole palm. While it’s common to put the weight on the heel of the hand, you want to spread it out through the finger pads as well. By setting a good foundation you can now build a stable pose from the base up.
2. Get the knees as high up the arms as possible.
You want to get the body low so you can glue your knees as high up your upper arms as possible. If you’re tight in the hips, you’ll possibly find it challenging to get down low enough for the knee or upper arm connection. So work on those hip openers to prepare for crow pose.
3. Draw in first, then lift up.
This was an important tip for me. I was so fixated on wanting to lift off that I wasn’t recruiting the muscles I needed to actually get up there. Engaging your core here will really bring it together. The knees are pressing into the upper arms. The inner thighs are active and drawing in towards each other. The elbows are tucked in, not out to the side. The act of drawing everything in should naturally encourage an upward lift.
4. Shift the weight forward.
This can be the scary part for a lot of people. Set the intention with your eyes by taking your gaze out in front of your hands. Then assure yourself you can do this.
If you’re scared of falling forward, then put a couple of cushions or blankets down in front to make a soft landing pad. Keep your elbows on the heel of the hand. This goes hand in hand with shifting the weight forward.
Bringing the elbows in as you shift forward will help you feel stronger and more solid in the pose.
5. Upper back is rounded, not flat.
The upper back should be rounded, which ignites some really important muscles that help with balance and poise. This point can be the difference between you flying for a few seconds, and holding the pose for longer.
To round through the upper back, press your hands into the mat as though you’re pushing the mat away from you. I like to imagine I’m puffing up a little in the center of the upper back.
As well as physical alignment cues, it’s really important to keep breathing! let go of any un-serving thoughts and visualize yourself gracefully holding the pose. You can do it!