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John Kraijenbrink performing Crane Pose - Bakasana

Crane pose – Bakasana

Crane pose – Bakasana is the pose that probably ‘saved’ me for yoga. I’m far from flexible, so my first months on the yoga mat were hell. I had no clue about yoga and thought that doing the asanas (yoga poses) was doing yoga. With a bit of breathing on the side. Sport was for me a thing I had to be good at. I used to play football and although I played in the youth teams, the approach was competitive. So there I was: surrounded by flexible people and I couldn’t even reach me toes. But there was one thing I could do: Crane pose – bakasana. And I had fun doing it. So much fun I was willing to give yoga a chance, despite of my unwilling hamstrings.

Although to be precise, I wasn’t doing Crane pose. I was doing the modification Bakasana is always mixed up with: Crow pose – Kakasana. In crane your knees are tucked in your armpits and your arms are straight. In Crow (Kakasana) you can place your knees on your bend upper arms, so they can function as a shelf and keep your arms bend like you do in Chaturanga Dandasana.

How to do Crane Pose – Bakasana

  • Start in squat
  • Place your hands about 40 centimeters in front of your feet on the floor
  • Come high on your toes and rest your knees against your armpits; keeping a bend in your arms
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and iliopsoas muscle to keep your knees pressed in your upper arms
  • Bring your weight forward and slowly lift one foot off the floor
  • Start tip-toeing on the other foot till you feel comfortable to lift your other foot of the floor as well
  • Bring your heels closer to your butt
  • Start straightening your arms
  • Stay in the pose for a few seconds. Slowly work up to 30 seconds or even more
  • Bring your weight slowly backwards till your feet are on the ground again.

Benefits of Crane Pose – Bakasana

  • Strengthens the arms and wrists
  • Strengthens the abdominal organs and abs
  • Improves balance

Contraindiations Crane Pose – Bakasana

  • Wrist or arm injuries
Source: Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar, Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long, Ashtanga – David Swenson, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Want more? Check out our library of yoga poses


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