Crow / Kakasana

Kakasana is the primary balancing posture of the Sivananda sequence. It strengthens the wrists, arms and shoulders while also significantly improving the power of concentration. At first, this asana may look difficult – but remember that the controlled breathing and asanas you have done up to this point have prepared you for balancing. Slowly, with practice and patience, you will master this posture.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders and wrists
  • Stretches the fingers, wrists and forearms
  • Improves physical and mental balance through concentration
  • Removes lethargy and develops determination

Contraindications:

  • If you have wrist issues, you can choose to put less weight onto the wrists by partially coming into the posture. Do not practice if you are currently experiencing wrist pain.

Instructions:

1. Start in a squatting position, feet hips width apart. Bring the hands out in front of the feet under the shoulders, making an even square between the hands and feet. You may choose to turn the hands inwards slightly allowing the elbows to come out to the sides. Open the hands as wide as possible and begin to flex the fingers.

2. Bend the elbows, creating a platform for the knees to rest on. Rest the knees wherever is comfortable between the elbows and the armpits.

3. Focus on a point a couple feet in front of you. Slowly shift your weight forward into the wrists while lifting the hips, until you feel the feet naturally start to lift off the ground.

4. Lift one foot, then the other foot, off the ground. Try and bring the big toes together. If you cannot lift the feet, just bring the weight onto the wrists and hold this position. You will still get the benefits of the Crow.

5. Hold up to 1 minute. Breathe.

6. Lower the feet to the floor, shake out and relax the wrists.

7. Relax in Child’s Pose.

Tips:

  • If you cannot comfortably bring the knees onto the back of the arms, you may instead bring the knees on the outside of the upper arms. Hug the knees together squeezing the sides of the arms to balance.
  • If you are not comfortable practicing the full posture begin by lifting one foot off the mat at a time. Alternate which foot is on the mat. This will allow you to gain strength and confidence for the full posture.
  • Do not look down, looking down or back will cause you to lose balance. Look forward and fix your gaze on the point of concentration.

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