The Question: How do you do Crow Pose without your knees hurting your arms? ~Taylor
Oh, Crow Pose—probably the number one go-to pose for those learning arm balances. It looks badass, it’s fun, and it’s easy enough to try (even if you hold it for just long enough to take a picture ;-)). But yes, it often does come with the consequence of tired and bruised arms. Here’s my take on it.
Bakasana has two commonly used English names: Crow and Crane. Some say Crow is the pose you are doing when your arms are bent, Crane the one when your arms are straight.
When I first started practicing Crane and Crow, I built up my strength by taking part in this free 30 Day Yoga Challenge. It definitely helped me get used to holding my body in various different ways!
I’ve been practicing Bakasana in two different ways. I’ve found that putting my knees/shins on the backs of my arms allows me to easier straighten my arms, but it requires a lot more breathing through the sensation (since the bony parts of my knees are pressing right into the meaty part of my arm muscles).
On the contrary, you can also put the insides of your knees to the outsides of your upper arms, your triceps. This might create some bruises as you start practicing it, but will be something you eventually get used to after a couple of times.
No matter how you’re planning on doing the pose, think primarily about your chest going forwards through your arms, not down towards the floor or back towards the space behind you. Keep yourself super small and tight, and when you lift your hips up and forward, think about being light.
Squeezing is a key component to this pose, so try to be compact as you can as you push the floor away and pull the legs into the arms.
To be honest, those bruises and tired muscles are all part of the practice. When you’re first starting yoga, some postures just aren’t going to come off as super easy. They’re only going to come along with the help of a lot of repetition and hard work.
Respect your body and your limits, but just know that poses get easier as you cautiously push through the difficulties!