Bakasana - Crow Pose

This pose is another one of my favourites; during hikes I will stop and take Crow Pose in various locations as I find it sets me free. Some days it is a challenge for me and I can only get one foot off the ground or I fall over, and other days I'm caught with a big grin on my face in Bakasana. I want to share more about this pose, because beginners tend to be fearful, and others are excited to attempt this challenge.

Baron Baptiste, in his book Journey into Power (P. 106), says: "[...] It is a vigorous pose that we do early on in the practice because it requires a lot of strength and builds tremendous fire. I also throw this pose in throughout a class as a way for students to reignite waning energy or heat. Physically, Crow is based on upper body strength and core power, and learning to balance and be light. But emotionally, it is based on moving through resistance. Crow brings up a lot for people. Some people are afraid of tipping forward onto their heads (which is actually not so bad, since you would only fall a few inches), others come up against extreme frustration because they don't yet have the balance or strength to get into it. For many, it stirs up feelings of competition or perfectionism. This can be a challenging pose for beginning students, but remember not to get caught up in whether it's hard or easy for you. It doesn't matter whether you can do it right away, or whether you are just a baby crow learning to find your wings. What matters is that your spirit is willing and that you are continually working the farthest edge that's healthy for you."

I can tell you first hand that I used to experience frustration with Bakasana. I knew I was strong enough to support my weight on my upper body, as I had spent many summers pulling myself out of the lake onto the dock, or out of the side of the pool. I lacked balance in the beginning, and that is where my frustration stemmed from. I knew I could do it, and I was determined to do it; so I spent many days working on this pose. Every day presented new challenges; some days I was too tired from the Sun Salutations to attempt this, and other days I pushed through. I continually work on this pose and it has become easier for me in the last year that I have been working on it. It's one of my favourite poses because it is unpredictable for me; will I get into it or will I be challenged?

The Spiritual Focus of Bakasana, as Baron Baptiste Says, in Journey into Power (P. 107-108), "Letting go means giving up attachment to results. When you understand that you don't have to try hard, you can give up the fight for results, because you know that ultimately things will work out as they should. Desiring a certain goal in a pose and working to achieve it is different from trying to control the outcome. Just be willing to relax and let go. Know that if one door closes, five new doors will open up. That is true faith: trusting the natural ebb and flow of life."

Don't be afraid of a challenge; take your time and work through it, one step at a time.