What's The Deal with Bakasana?


We’ve all been there. The teacher says "now we’re going to practise crow (or crane) pose" and suddenly there’s a room of bums in the air, feet hopping up and down and a lot of faces looking around with the same confused look in their eyes. Then, after several weeks of enviously stealing sideways glances at others, it finally happens; the feet come up and tick! You are now a yogi who can balance on their hands, thank you very much. Oops but hang on that’s my ego talking, wasn’t I supposed to leave him at the door? ;)

I guess that’s the thing with this little pose, you can’t help but be chuffed when it happens. Often we are practising this during the beginning stages of our yoga journey and it’s like the first ‘hey look at me’ kind of pose. But actually I think there’s a deeper significance to that ‘chuffed’ feeling. I mean to get those feet off the floor and stay off the floor involves a great deal of determination and ability to harbour that magical combination of balance and strength. In doing that, it's a realisation that you can achieve more than you first thought, that the impossible is suddenly slightly more possible.

In that moment you are aware of every joint, bone and muscle, you’re focused and your mind is still. Suddenly everything comes together and you have complete control over your mind and body. Maybe it’s just for a second, but it happened. And that, my friends, is yoga! 

So why not give Bakasana a go yourself... 

1. Start in Tadasana, bring feet hip width apart and lower to a squat position.

2. Allow knees to move further apart and bring your arms through the inside of your knees, planting your hands flat on the floor, shoulder width apart.

3. Your shins are now resting against your upper inner arms, raise seat to the sky coming onto the balls of your feet.

4. Ensure your knees are cushioned by the inner arm muscle and up close to your armpits.

5. Tip the weight forward and allow your arms to take the weight of the torso.

6. Engage all the abdominal muscles and shoulder girdle, gently lift one foot up at a time. You may want to stay here practising alternating foot lift.

7. If you feel stable lift both feet up in unison bringing the heels as close to your seat as possible and weight tipping forward.

8. Gaze looking forward of your hands, squeeze everything in and straighten the arms.

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