How to Do Bakasana or Crow Pose

How to Do Crow Pose
Crow Pose - Bakasana. DC Photo/Photodisc/Getty Images

Crow is often the first arm balance students tackle. Though it looks like it's all about arm strength, the keys are actually learning where your center of gravity is and how to distribute your weight so that you can balance.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is usually a reluctance to move enough of your weight forward into your hands. When you find that sweet spot, the feet just pop off the floor almost on their own. Mastering crow opens the door to lots more arm balance fun. It's also known as the crane pose.


The crow pose strengthens the wrist, forearms, and abdomen. It improves balance and core strength.


  1. Bend your knees slightly so that you can bring your palms flat on the floor about shoulder's distance apart.
  2. Plant your palms firmly on the mat about a foot in front of your feet. Spread your fingers wide and press into the top joint of each finger.
  3. Bend your elbows straight back. Don't bend them into full chaturanga arms, but head in that direction.
  4. Come up onto the balls of your feet and open your knees so that they line up with your upper arms.
  5. Place your knees on the backs of your upper arms.
  6. Begin to bring your weight forward into your hands, lifting your head as you go.
  7. Come up onto your tiptoes, then lift one foot and then the other off the floor.
  8. Hug your knees toward the midline.
  9. Hug your feet toward your butt.
  10. To come out, transfer your weight back until your feet come back to the floor.

Beginners Tips

  • Some people like to start out with a block under their feet. You can try this and see how it feels.
  • Lift one foot at a time if you can't quite get both feet up yet. This helps you build strength and get a feel for the technique. 
  • Keep your gaze lifted to the horizon. Do not look down and let your head drop. This will cause you to tip forward and lose balance.
  • Put a blanket in front of you so you won't be afraid of hitting your head if you fall. Chances are you will tip forward at least once while learning this pose. You want that to be as soft of a landing as possible.
  • The trickiest part of the pose is figuring out how to transfer enough weight onto your hands so that your feet come up but you don't pitch forward. Practice regularly at home so you find the right technique.

Advanced Tips

  • Once you come up into the pose, do not let your elbows splay out to either side. Keep them in line with your shoulders and wrists.
  • Work on straightening your arms.
  • Try jumping back to chaturanga. 
  • If you've mastered that, try jumping from a downward facing dog directly into a crow.
  • You can also try moving from crow to tripod headstand and back.
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