Side Crow

Parsva Bakasana

HOW TO PERFORM

Advanced pose side crow

Stage 1

• Begin in the Teepee twist with the right arm extended and place the palms of your hands on the earth shoulder-width apart beside the left hip.

• Gently squeeze the forearms and elbows in towards each other (like Chaturanga) then spreading the fingers wide apart and pressing the palms down, engage Mulabanda (root lock) and tilt your torso over the arms, allowing the hips to lift with this action.

• There are two options for balancing here. It is possible to use both arms as a ‘shelf’ for the hips, or you can balance on one arm (as pictured). Do what feels right for your body initially, but have a play around with both options as they offer different challenges (using both arms requires a deeper twisting action in the torso, using one arm requires more upper body strength).

• Eventually once the hips are lifted and you have your balance on one or both arms, keep your gaze lifted, chest forwards and let the feet float up as you gently squeeze the knees towards each other (still activating Mulabandha) to avoid the legs splaying apart.

Advanced pose side crow stage 2Stage 2

• Once the legs are elevated, keep the core strong and extend the legs out to the right flexing the feet but keep the gaze lifted and chest forward. Another option from here is to split the legs (left leg forward, right leg back) into Eka Pada Koundinyasana.

Tip:

• Good preparation for nailing Side Crow is ensuring your Chaturanga is solid, and working on deep twists is also helpful.

MODIFICATIONS

• Using blocks to support under your hips can help you to initially to have the outer thigh resting higher up the arm.

• If you are fearful of falling, place a few cushions around to support you if you do fall, especially close to the head area.

BENEFITS

• Strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders.

• Tones the belly and spine.

• As with all twists, Side Crow promotes detoxification of the body through stimulating the liver and kidneys.

• Improves balance and focus.

• Pushes you out of your comfort zone.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

• Wrist or lower back injuries.