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Build up to Bakasana

Yoga Bokasana

Bakasana, or Crow Pose, is an arm balancing pose in yoga. At first glance, the asana looks very intimidating. However, it won’t take too long to master if you put in the time and dedication needed. Instead of going straight into Bakasana, it can be helpful to build up to it. Building strength in the arms and core will make Bakasana easier to hold when the time comes. In this article, we explore the best ways to build up to Bakasana. Before getting started, pick up some comfortable yoga pants to wear when you practice.

Build Strength in Your Arms

Yogi Pushups

Pushups are one of the best ways to build strength in the arms. To practice a yogi pushup, begin in plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Next, draw your elbows into your ribs and hold them there. At this stage, remember to engage your core and keep your hips flexible. Lower your body towards the ground before pushing yourself back up into Plank. Repeat the sequence 5-10 times for best results. If you’re struggling to maintain correct form, try dropping to your knees to make the posture easier.

Peacock Prep

To practice Peacock Prep, begin on all fours. Your knees should be under your hips and your shoulders over your wrists. Keeping your palms on the ground, turn your hands so that your fingers are pointing towards your knees. Your wrist creases should be in line with the edge of your mat. If your wrists are not flexible enough to do this, turn your wrists to face each other with your fingers facing away from one another. Next, bend your elbows in and lean your body forward, guiding your elbows towards your belly button. Finally, move back into plank position and hold the posture for 5-10 breaths.

Eight Angle Pose

To practice the Eight Angle Pose, begin in a seated position with your legs extended. Draw your right knee into your chest, then move your right arm to the inside of your bent leg. Using both hands, take a hold of your right foot and move the underside of your knee behind your right shoulder. Next, hook your leg as firmly behind your shoulder as possible and place your hands on the floor on either side of your hips. To maintain balance, spread your fingers apart and keep your chest lifted. When you’re steady, lift your left leg and cross your left ankle over your right. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and bend your torso forward. Keeping your legs squeezed, extend them until they are straight. You are in Eight Angle Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Poses to Strengthen the Core

Dolphin Plank Pose

To practice Dolphin Plank Pose, begin on your hands and knees. Next, place your forearms and palms on the floor, making sure your elbows are under your shoulders and your upper arms are parallel to one another. Walk both feet back, keeping your legs and pelvis aligned with your shoulders. Next, slowly draw your ribs and lower stomach back towards your spine. Root your toes into the ground as you stretch from your pelvis through your heels. Finally, tilt your head forwards to maintain the natural curve of your neck. You are in Dolphin Plank Pose. Hold the posture for as long as possible whilst breathing deeply.

Side to Side Dolphin Plank

To practice this posture, begin in Dolphin Plank. From here, walk both feet to the left. Press your forearms into the mat and lift both sides of your pelvis before reaching back through your heels. Finally, lengthen through the crown of your head. You are in Side to Side Dolphin Plank. Hold the posture for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side. Repeat the sequence 5-10 times for best results.

Yoga Bokasana

Dolphin Plank Oblique Variation

To practice this asana, begin in Dolphin Plank once more. Keep both your forearms on the mat as you come onto the left-hand side of your left foot. Stack your feet and legs in the middle of your mat, keeping them in line with the space between your arms. Distribute your weight evenly between your arms and extend your legs whilst lengthening through the crown of your head. Finally, draw your stomach back and lift the front of your pelvis towards your chest. You are in Dolphin Plank Oblique Variation. Hold the asana for as long as possible whilst breathing deeply.

Three Legged Downward Facing Dog

To practice Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog, begin standing tall. Hinge at the waist and lower your upper body towards the mat until your body forms an upside down ‘V’ shape. Your hands and feet should both be securely on the mat. From here, bring your right knee into your rib cage, keeping your hips high. If necessary, lift your left heel off the mat while drawing your belly button towards your spine. Keeping your knee tucked into your ribs, push forward through your hands while reaching up through your pelvis. To maintain balance, keep your left heel rooted to the ground. Hold this posture for a few seconds, before slowly stretching your right leg back and up. You are in Three Legged Downward Facing Dog. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.

Practising Bakasana

Once you’re ready to practice Bakasana, start by lifting just one foot at a time. To practice the asana, begin in a wide squat. Next, place your hands on the floor in front of you, keeping them shoulder-width apart. Slowly straighten your legs, placing your knees on your arm as close to your armpits as possible. Finally, lean your body forward until the toes of one foot lift off the ground. Hold this pose for a few seconds, getting your body used to the position. When you’re ready, come back into a wide squat and repeat the process using your other leg. Once this feels comfortable, practice lifting both feet off the ground. At first, you may only be able to hold the posture for a second or two. Don’t panic, that’s totally normal. With regular practice, you’ll soon be able to hold it for a longer duration.

In Summary

Strong arms and good core strength are needed to practice Bakasana properly. With this in mind, practice the postures above to build up to Bakasana. When building strength in your arms, it’s important to keep the muscles warm. In the colder months, consider wearing a yoga hoodie to avoid getting chilly.

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