What Is the Crow Pose (Bakasana) In Yoga? Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes 

Crow pose (bakasana) in yoga is an intermediate level pose. (Photo by Polina Tankilevitch via pexels)
Crow pose (bakasana) in yoga is an intermediate level pose. (Photo by Polina Tankilevitch via pexels)

Crow pose (bakasana) in yoga, also known as the frog stand or crane pose, is an intermediate to advanced level yoga pose that primarily targets the abdominal muscles, upper back, wrist and arms.

Though this pose looks like it’s all about how strong your arms are, the key is to actually distribute your weight so you can balance your body. Accomplishing the crow pose may be one of the first big achievements in any yoga practitioner’s journey. However, the real challenge is to maintain this pose for more than a few seconds.

How to perform the crow pose (bakasana) in yoga?

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start by standing straight with both your arms at your sides.
  • Remember to breathe easily during practicing this pose.
  • Slightly bend your knees and bring your palms on the floor at about shoulder-width distance.
  • Put your palms on the floor directly in front of your feet. Open up your fingers wide and press onto the top joint of every finger.
  • Slowly bend your elbows back.
  • Now come up balancing yourself on the balls of your feet. Open your knees in a way that they get aligned with your upper arms. Put your knees on the back of your upper arms.
  • Start to bring your body weight forward into your hands and lift your head gently as you go.
  • Come up on your tiptoes and lift one foot followed by the other off the ground.
  • Engage your inner thighs for balance while keeping your knees on your arms.
  • As you do this, hug your feet towards your hips and focus on lifting your body up.
  • Do not sink into this pose as this can put more strain on your shoulders.
  • To come out of the pose, exhale and shift your entire weight back until your feet come down to the floor.

For more comfort and support, you can put a yoga block under your feet. If you can’t get your both feet up at the same time, lift one foot and then slowly lift the other. This will help you develop strength and you’ll also feel more balanced.

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One of the biggest hindrances of mastering this pose is probably the fear of falling over. So, to overcome this fear, here are a few tips you must follow when entering bakasana.

Tips to remember when practicing the crow pose in yoga

  • Put a pillow or a folded blanket on the front of your yoga mat.
  • Place your head on the pillow first and then continue with the steps. This will prevent the risk of falling over.
  • Lift your hips and put your feet further in.
  • Always engage your feet and slowly bring your knees to your upper arms.
  • For better balance, keep your forearms in a vertical direction.

Common mistakes to avoid

1.) Once you are up in the crow pose, do not let your elbows slide out to either side. Make sure to keep them aligned with your wrists and shoulders.

2.) Your knees should be as high as possible but do not allow your legs to rest on your forearms. Always engage your core to hold your legs up and not completely rely on your buttocks.

3.) Look straight while performing this pose. Do not look down or up or let your head move. This will cause you to lose balance.

The primary benefits of crow pose (bakasana) in yoga

The crow pose helps strengthen the upper body, including your forearms, wrist and abdominal muscles while stretching and relaxing your entire upper back. Plus, it also assists in improving your overall body balance and developing core strength.

Mastering this pose can build your confidence and help you prepare to practice other advanced yoga poses that require arm strength. It can also elevate your control and improve your body awareness.

Bottom line

Crow pose is not recommended for people with shoulder or wrist injuries or women who are pregnant. It should also be avoided if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. It is best to perform the crow pose under the guidance of a certified yoga trainer so you do it correctly and with full safety.

If you are trying out the crow pose for the first time, make sure to keep a blanket or a pillow in front of you so you won’t hit your head if you fall. There are possibilities that you’ll fall forward at least once, so be prepared and perform it with complete safety.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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