The crow pose helps enhance and strengthen the arms. (Image via Unsplash/Joshua Wilson)

5 Challenging Crow Pose Variations to Tone Your Triceps

The crow pose is one of the most popular arm balance poses in yoga, particularly in Ashtanga Vinyasa. It challenges balance, strength, and flexibility, which means it’s ideal for helping you increase focus and awareness.

This pose also strengthens the arms, triceps, and shoulders — all of which can translate onto other physical activities and sports. As you master this pose, you will probably want to try some fun variations that make practicing the crow pose even more exciting.


What is Crow Pose?


The crow pose is a foundational arm-balancing pose that builds strength in the arms and abdominal muscles.

Practioners must focus on balance, which can be scary. This pose challenges them to face their fear of falling. The crow pose is typically the first arm balance students of yoga master before tackling more advanced and challenging poses like handstands.


The crow pose is known as Bakasana in Sanskrit, meaning 'crane pose'. The body in this pose resembles a crane wading in water, which explains the name.

Benefits of Crow Pose

The crow pose can help you gain many benefits in your yoga practice. Five of them are as follows:


1) Core Strength

Enhance your core strength by engaging the pelvic floor muscles (also known as the root lock) in crow pose. That will help support the bladder, bowels, and uterus.

2) Ability to focus

The crow pose is a foundational yoga pose but it can be challenging for even the most experienced yogis. The focus required of you in this pose can help you focus your attention in all aspects of life.

3) Body awareness

When you first try the crow pose, you might find it challenging to bring more of your bodyweight into your hands. As you practice, though, you will begin to realize that engaging the core muscles can help support a lot of your bodyweight.

4) Improves arm balance

Practicing the crow pose can lead you to many other challenging arm balances, as it’s easier to get into than other arm balances. As you're lower to the ground in the crow pose than in other arm balances, it’s a great place to start if falling freaks you out.


Five Crow Pose Variations to Try In Your Next Practice

Here're five variations of the pose:

1) Side Crow Pose

This is an asymmetrical crow pose, which can give you a nice core workout. This is a variation of the arm balance that you can also do with your feet on the ground for extra stability.

Before attempting this pose, warm up with some twists and gentle stretches. As you become more flexible, it will be easier for you to find balance.

2) Crane Pose

The crow pose may look easy, but the crane pose ups the ante by working the arms towards a straight position.

Here’s how to do it: Lift your heels, and protract your shoulders; that will help straighten the arms. It takes time to build strength in the shoulders and triceps and mobility in the hamstrings.

3) Flying Crow Pose


The flying crow pose is an asymmetrical arm balance that involves balancing on one side of the body. If you're comfortable with the crow pose, the flying crow can be a great way to challenge yourself and deepen your practice.

4) Flying Crow Variation 2

The crow pose is a balance between the firefly pose and the crow pose. The firefly pose is one where you’re seated on your feet and lift your hips into the air. This variation requires you to be more flexible, so you may want to practice it after you’ve mastered the firefly pose.

5) Funky Flying Crow Pose

The funky crow pose is a challenging variation of the crow pose that requires great balance. What makes it so unique? In addition to balancing on your hands, you will bring one hand to the mat while extending your other arm in the air.

Safety Tips

It's important to practice yoga in the correct form and with the proper technique to ensure your safety and achieve the best results. If you have any health concerns, it's best to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Postures can be modified based on the needs of each practitioner.



The aforementioned crow pose variations are great to add to your yoga practice to increase your range of movement and challenge your body. With a bit of practice and patience, you can work up to some unique variations that can be uniquely yours.

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