Hi ladies I’m Neghar from Girls Gone Strong and today I'm going to show you one of my favorite yoga arm balances, Bakasana, or crow pose. Bakasana is a great pose to strengthen your arms, your shoulder girdle and your core. But it is really important that you get comfortable with the pose and that you’re confident in the pose before you start trying to advance it. There are lots of great variations of Bakasana, but you really want to master basic Bakasana first. I’m going to show you a couple of different ways to get in the pose, but I want you to remember this is your practice, so trying to ease into the pose while maintaining the breath is best, and making sure you’re not forcing yourself into poses that your body isn’t necessarily ready for.
So the first way I’m going to show you to get into Bakasana is from the deep squat. Make sure you are nice and warm first because your hips are going to need to be really open in order to get into this pose. So we’re going to start in a nice deep squat, making sure that the heels are on the floor. We’re going to place those elbows right in between the knees and just try to get comfortable here first. And once you’re comfortable you’re going to take those hands and place them on the floor right in front of you. Not too far apart, but probably about the distance of your elbows. Making sure that the fingers are open and that the hands are grounded. And we’re just going to rock forward and get comfortable with moving the weight forward onto the hands little by little. It really helps to keep the gaze outward, almost looking up into the back of your head, as opposed to looking down, because that would encourage you falling down. So getting comfortable rocking forward, then we’re going to place the knees on the back of the arms and maybe one by one just lifting one foot and then the other, getting comfortable with the balance on the hands. When you’re ready, lifting up one toe, if you feel really comfortable, lift up the other toe. Bring those toes are close together as you can, and again coming back down. So it’s important when you’re up there to bring the toes together because that’s going to really help engage your trunk, sort of squeezing everything together. When you’re in Bakasana you want to think about being in a nice, tight, compact ball, which will help everything feel very stable. So that’s one way to get into the pose.
Another way to get into the pose, which is my preferred way is by placing the hands down on the floor, sometimes coming from a forward fold, and coming up onto the toes, placing the knees into the armpits. I like this version best because I find that it helps me keep my knees a little bit higher, and keeps me from sort of slipping down out of the pose. And from here, same thing, rocking forward one at a time, making sure to keep the gaze forward and when you’re ready, keeping the gaze forward, bringing the toes together, staying nice and tight through the trunk, and coming down out of the pose gently and carefully. The most important thing with not only Bakasana but all of your yoga poses, especially your inverted poses and your arm balances, is to maintain your breath. If you’re holding your breath, a lot of times that’s going to keep you from actually getting into the pose. So really encouraging the breath, keeping those nice deep breaths in through the nose and out through the nose throughout the pose. Not just once you get into the pose, but getting into it as well. And that’s Bakasana
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