Arm balances can be very challenging but with patience and work you can improve them greatly. I’ve learned that it is not only strength you need to do the pose but a few other actions at the same time. Once you understand them and are able to put them into practise, you’ll be flying!
I’m going to share with you some troubleshooting tips for Bakasana / Crow pose. You might also know this pose as Kakasana as well. I cover all of these points in my classes in our Arm Balance Essentials programme.
How to prepare for the pose
While arm balances do take muscular strength and flexibility, the way we position the body when coming into the pose, and leverage are also important factors.
In order to get the palms flat on the floor, the flexor part of the forearm needs to be flexible. The upper body needs to be strong, as well as the abdominal and core muscles. Having an awareness of the mid-line and centre of gravity also helps.
Bakasana – Crow Pose
- A common misalignment for Bakasana is that the legs are not hooked high enough on the arms, due to stiff hips or back. (EkhartYoga members, if this is you try Anat Geiger’s Lower back and hip space class)
- Another common misalignment is having too much weight on the outside of the hands. Firm your hands down, especially the knuckle of the index finger and thumb.
- The most common misalignment is that the weight is not balanced so you can topple forward or backward.
Also read: Building up to Bakasana – a yoga sequence which uses blocks to help you build up strength and stability.
Arm Balance blueprint – a strong Chaturanga
A strong and aligned Chaturanga is in many ways the blueprint pose for many arm balances, so spending time cultivating an understanding of this pose will have a tremendous impact on your success in arm balances.
Try David Lurey’s fantastic Chaturanga workshop class to perfect your Chaturanga.