by Ansley Melnik
Aaaahhh, here we are again. You’re halfway through your power yoga class and the teacher takes you into a forward fold at the top of your mat. You know it’s coming. You ask yourself, “…do I TRY? Or do I stay safe and comfy right here.”
Your teacher cues, “Option to hold your forward fold or find bakasana, or Crow Pose.”
Nailing crow pose is a pivotal moment in a power yoga practice. Finding the required strength and balance is scary, but when you do, the feeling of power and accomplishment is real. And while it’s certainly not for everyone, nor mandatory for a full, rich yoga practice, figuring out this arm balance has long been exciting for many yogis. Keeping your mind calm and the breath long and fluid in such a challenging place is quite an achievement!
o Wrists bear a lot in this pose, so protecting them is important with correct elbow alignment (squeezing into the ribcage) and not collapsing away (rolling weight into outside corners of wrists).
o Pressing down through all ten finger pads will help distribute the weight down into the hands as well. Think of your fingertips as breaks (press into them to keep from toppling over) and the heels of the hands as the gas pedal (press here to keep hips high). Lock the knees as close to the armpits as possible and tighten that lock by squeezing the knees in and triceps out.
o Gaze is incredibly important, it’s out and forward. Don’t wrinkle the back of the neck too much, straining to look up, but looking down at the mat will pitch you forward. Lean forward and take the weight out of the feet as much as you can before trying to lift off the feet.
o A fully engaged and strong core will make this pose light and MUCH more fun… and as you find this asana within your practice, that part gets easier.
Most importantly…every single yogi has fallen out of something. Everyone has taken a shot at a pose and maybe it didn’t go quite as planned. Wear it as a badge. A fall just means you are moving forward (albeit quickly!) down the path of discovering just a little more about yourself.
And as Brene Brown says in her book Daring Greatly, “If you are not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in getting your feedback.”
We’re all in this together at VIBE5. Let it fly.