Yesterday, we discovered and elaborated on the benefits of the downward-facing dog, one of yoga’s most famous poses, not only for its upside-down V position, but also for its incredible health benefits. From the vigilant dog, today we continue this week’s yoga pose theme with the intelligent and ever-watchful crow.
The Crow Pose
The crow, or Kakasana is one of the basic postures of Hatha Yoga and is usually one of the first balancing postures attempted by a yoga beginner advancing to an intermediate level, as it could harm your wrists and shoulders if not properly performed.
The crow begins from a squatting position on your feet and placing your hands – palms down and about shoulder width apart – in front of your feet. Bending your elbows, place your knees above your elbows (the closer your knees are to your underarms, the harder it is).
Concentrating on the floor a few feet away from you to initiate focal balance, slowly shift your weight forward over your hands. As both feet are off the floor and you are comfortable with your stability, bring your big toes together.
Why The Crow is good for you
While strength is a prerequisite, mental focus and calm are also important to get into the crow position, as this a balancing pose. Pushing the weight of your lower body towards your shoulders, arms and wrists, and engaging your core for this posture, helps to strengthen the muscles around those various parts.
The crow also improves the strength of your overall upper body as well as tones your abdominal organs, which assists with indigestion and lower back pains. As you move into, balance and hold this position, the muscles of your forearms, wrists and even your fingers are given a proper stretch. This is great for related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or even the discomfort of long commutes in your car, but do seek guidance from a trained yoga instructor before you lift off.
Mentally, the crow is a great yoga posture to incorporate regularly into your yoga practice as it improves concentration and calms your mind.
Tomorrow, the Crow has a message for the Warrior, who is about to do some great work on your entire body…