JEREMY LIM IS THE MAN ON THE MAT
Crow Pose (Kakasana)
- Strengthens wrists, arms, shoulders and abdominal muscles.
- Stretches back, buttocks, thighs and palm side of wrist.
- Develops physical balance.
- Builds confidence.
- Not shifting weight forward and looking forward enough to find balance. Transferring weight sufficiently forward from feet to hands, typically until the forearms are perpendicular to ground, balances out the weight of torso and legs for the feet to become lighter to lift. Looking forward helps focus on the direction where the weight should go: forward, not the ground.
- Not squeezing into the mid-line enough to obtain stability. Squeezing arms in toward each other, and hugging legs in toward each other, activates the ‘core’ muscles providing stability in this pose. To feel the engagement, it can be helpful to visualise squeezing an imaginary yoga block between arms and between inner thighs.
- Stepping the ball of one foot or both feet into a wall to support the weight of legs provides a great assist for exploration of stability and balance.
- Keeping inner feet together and pulling feet to buttocks offer refinements in stability and lift.
- Reclined Crow Pose (Supta Kakasana) is a great preparatory posture to explore the essential muscular actions of Crow Pose without weightbearing on hands.
Consider this very active pose as an exploration of balance and strength, both of which are necessary to hold the posture or build it into a transition during flows. Visualise the pose as a traditional balance weight scale, with the hands as the base, forearms as support/ fulcrum, and torso and legs as either weight pans. Once the body is in position, the inconspicuous muscular actions stabilise the pose and add more lift. Take your time, enjoy the process, and have fun along the way as you find the lightness to take flight.
Jeremy Lim is an international yoga and meditation teacher, and creator of Power & Alignment and Resting Conversation. Find out more at jeremylimyoga.com and @jeremylimyoga
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