The Crow - Kakasana
Kakasana, the crow posture, is tenth in the sequence of 12 basic postures of hatha yoga. The crow is a balancing posture which strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists. Alternatively, mayurasana, the peacock yoga pose, can also be done as a variation instead of the crow.
- Strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists
- Improves balance
- Stretches the muscles of the forearms, wrists and fingers
- Especially beneficial for repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, and for people who spend a lot of time on the computer
- Improves mental equilibrium and sense of calm
- Improves concentration
The crow begins by coming to a squatting position on your feet.
- Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet with the palms down, fingers spread comfortably apart. Be sure the hands are at least shoulder width or a little farther apart. Sometimes turning the finger tips very slightly towards each other with fingers slightly bent can be helpful.
- Bend your elbows and place your knees on the upper part of your arms above the elbows. The location of the knees varies from person to person depending on your body proportion and what is comfortable. Generally, the closer the knees are to the armpits the harder the crow posture is.
- Look at the floor 2 to 3 feet in front of your hands. This is very important. Keeping your concentration in front of your hands will prevent you from falling forward and crashing to the floor nose first. Some people like to place a pillow on the floor just in case they lose their balance.
- Slightly shift your weight forward over your hands until your feet come gradually off the floor. Do not hop into position. When both feet are off the floor comfortably, touch the big toes together. Always keep looking at the floor in front of your hands while holding this position.
- In the beginning the crow posture can be somewhat painful for the wrists for some people. To make it easier, try shifting the weight forward until you feel some pressure on the wrists, and then practice lifting first one foot and then the other off the ground until the wrists build up sufficient strength to lift both feet off the ground together.
- In the beginning, hold the posture for 10 seconds, gradually working up to 1 minute or more.
To come out of the posture exhale and gradually lower the feet back down to the mat.
The crow is part of the basic yoga class.