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Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 12: Crow

Kakasana, or crow pose, is an advanced yoga position that can be physically and mentally grueling on the body.  It demands work from many muscles groups, as well as proper balance and concentration.  That is why it is important to thoroughly prepare the body for this strenuous pose.

Kakasana, crow


Yoga Journal's Jason Crandell thought the exact same thing, so today he has dedicated an entire sequence to the preparation for kakasana (referred to as bakasana in the video).  He recognizes the importance of full body strength and walks us through the steps to strengthen our bodies.  Crandell particularly focuses on opening the hip flexors, strengthening the abdominal region, and bearing weight on the arms alone.

I think the best thing about this video is the fact that he allows time for one's body to mentally prepare itself for the strange position of kakasana.  Since it is not a position the body typically does in nature, it's important to give yourself time to adjust to this new situation.

Half-Crow


So, why do kakasana? For starters, it looks amazing when performed properly.  It also gives strength to the arms, wrists, and shoulders and can aid in the prevention of osteoporosis of the wrists.  And coming from a western culture where attention disorders prevail, kakasana promotes concentration and physical and mental balance.

Show off.


If you feel wary about attempting kakasana or are a beginner, I think this is the perfect routine to get you started.  Even if you cannot get into the full pose, you can still do what I like to call a half-crow where your toes never leave the ground.  Once you feel like giving the pose a go, put a pillow in front of your mat in case you fall forward.  And if you already feel comfortable in crow, it never hurts to practice getting into the more advanced variations.  Take a look at the video and give it a try. Om Namah Sivaya!

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