Bakasana or Crane Pose is a wonderful beginning arm balancing pose. It helps to promote strength and lightness. Arm balances are fantastic ways to bring lightness to both the body and the heart. They “teach us how heavy we really are”, for they teach us how light we are. Most people shy away from balancing on their hands for many reasons, however once they master the ability, they find an ease with yoga that spills over into life.
How to Practice
The easiest way to practice Bakasana is to start from a yoga squat. Bring your hands about six inches from your feet pointing towards the front of the room. Keeping your feet flat on the earth bring your thighs parallel with the earth as you create a shelf with your upper arms. Placing your knees in your arm pits, or your shins. As you exhale tip forward, contract mula and Uddiyana bandha. See if the toes come off the earth, if they do not stay where your edge is and keep working with the pose until they can.
Arm balances are best practice after core work. Bakasana works well as a transition between Navasana sets. Usually after warming up, doing two sets of Bakasana, one after the fourth set of Navasana and one after the fifth, then a vinyasa and staying in Ado Mukha Savasana for a few breaths to absorbed the changes in the body.
Arm balances should always be worked upto in a flow. Before attempting an arm balance, it is best to open the shoulders and the shoulder girdle, further depending on the arm balance opening the other parts of the body working within the pose. Second it is best to practice arm balances after core strengthening. It is also recommended that if you have never practiced arm balanced to seek an instructor before continuing. After completing Bakasana it is best to conclude with child’s pose and Ado Mukha Savasana.