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Bakasana or Crow Pose
bahk-AHS-anna
baka crow

Overview
Bakasana or Crow Pose is one of those yoga poses that actually looks a lot harder than it really is. Clearly there is some serious upper arm strength involved and, of course, balance. But it is a balance posture!

Preparation and Pose Tips
Squat on your toes and keep your knees apart from each other. Now place your hands down on the floor in front of you, with palms flat on the floor and your elbows slightly bent. Knees on the outside of your elbows. You have two choices. You can go slowly like this: Move one knee onto the outside and top of the corresponding arm just above the elbow; then move the other knee up to rest on that arm. The knees are place on top of the upper arms. Or you can flex up on both your back toes at the same time; then rock forward, bringing both your knees up simultaneously (photo Bakasana prep 1). Whatever works best. A few tricks to this pose include looking forward the entire time. Let your toes touch. Keep your hands flat on the floor and keep breathing! (photo Bakasana final) Lots of people actually hold their breath, which doesn稚 make this pose any easier. To come out rock back into your squat position.

Benefits
Bakasana increases both physical and mental balance, concentration and tranquility. You strengthen both your wrists and your forearms.

Advanced or Partner
One nice follow-up to Bakasana (for advanced students) is on an exhale to thrust your legs up and out back behind, not so much with force but more with incredible lightness as if you are floating up and back. Your feet land behind you and you come into full plank Chaturangsana, ready to continue on in any sequence you may desire.

Chakra
Bakasana is a sixth chakra pose.

Precautions
Don稚 do this pose if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or are pregnant.

Timing
Hold for five breaths.

Recovery and Counterpose
Since you work your wrists considerably you might want to shake them out or even flex them in the other direction for a few seconds.