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Side Crow

parsva bakasana


Core Strength and Arm Balance: Side Crow pose challenges your core muscles and arm strength, requiring stability and balance. It activates the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and abdomen, helping to build strength and improve overall body control. Spinal Mobility: The twisting action in Side Crow pose stimulates the spine, enhancing spinal mobility and flexibility. Focus and Concentration: Side Crow pose requires mental focus and concentration to maintain balance and stability. It can help calm the mind, improve concentration, and cultivate a sense of mental clarity. Energy and Confidence: Practicing Side Crow pose can invigorate the body and mind, generating a sense of energy and vitality. It can also boost self-confidence as you develop strength, balance, and the ability to hold a challenging arm balance.



Wrist or shoulder injuries: Individuals with existing wrist or shoulder injuries should be cautious when practicing Side Crow. Excessive pressure on the wrists or shoulders in this arm-balancing pose can exacerbate the condition or cause further injury. Recent abdominal surgery: Those who have recently undergone abdominal surgery, such as hernia repair or abdominal muscle repair, should avoid or modify Side Crow. The twisting motion and pressure on the abdomen may strain the healing tissues. Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals should avoid Side Crow, especially as the pregnancy progresses. The pose involves core engagement and compression of the abdomen, which may not be suitable during pregnancy. It is recommended to choose safer and more appropriate prenatal yoga poses.



Any twist i.e. Revolved Chair pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana). Revolved Chair pose helps to open the chest, increase spinal rotation, and engage the core muscles, which are beneficial for transitioning into Side Crow pose. Crow pose (Bakasana): Crow pose itself is a great preparatory pose for Side Crow. It helps to develop the necessary arm and core strength, as well as the balance and body awareness required for Side Crow. Boat pose (Navasana): Boat pose strengthens the core, hip flexors, and inner thighs, which are important for the stability and engagement required in Side Crow.


Cue In

1 - Begin in a tiptoe squat position with your feet and knees together. 2 - Place your hands to the left side of you, fingers spread wide for stability. 3 - Shift your weight onto your hands and lift your hips slightly, coming further onto the balls of your feet. 4 - Bend your elbows, bringing your knees to right upper arm. 5 - Engage your core and lean your weight diagonally forward, shifting it onto your hands. 6 - Gently lift your feet off the ground, starting with the toes, and gradually engage the core to lift both feet up. “Engage your core muscles and draw your belly towards your spine to create a strong and stable center." "Keep your gaze focused forward, finding a point of focus to help with balance and concentration." "Press firmly through your hands, especially the fingertips, to maintain a solid foundation and distribute the weight evenly." "Keep your elbows bent and actively press your knees into your upper arm for added stability." "Lengthen through the spine, lifting the chest slightly forward and up, maintaining a long spine." "To find more lift, squeeze your inner thighs together." "Experiment with shifting your weight forward or backward to find the optimal balance point that feels comfortable for you." "Remember to breathe deeply and relax your shoulders, allowing any tension to melt away." "If you're struggling to lift both feet off the ground, start by practicing with one foot at a time, gradually working towards lifting both feet."



Stand beside the student and place your hands on their hips to offer stability and support. Help them lift up and diagonally across.


Counter Poses

Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana): Extended Puppy Pose is a variation of Downward Facing Dog that allows for a deep stretch in the shoulders, upper back, and spine. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose): This pose helps to open the hips, stretch the inner thighs, and open the chest and shoulders. It promotes relaxation and can be a soothing counterpose after the core and arm engagement of Side Crow. Wide-Legged Seated Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana): This pose stretches the hamstrings, inner thighs, and lower back while also calming the mind. It provides a gentle release for the legs and spine, counteracting the intensity of Side Crow. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) or Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana): Both of these backbends help to open the chest, shoulders, and hip flexors while strengthening the back muscles. They provide a great counterpose to the forward fold and compression of Side Crow, promoting a balanced release of energy in the body.


"See the variations,
simple to complex
1 Blocks Hip Support : In this variation, blocks are used for support under the hips while in Side Crow. This variation is helpful for beginners or those working on building strength and balance in Side Crow. 2 One Foot Grounded : In this variation, one foot remains grounded on the mat while the other leg hooks on to the opposite arm. This modification provides a sense of stability and support, making it an accessible option for practitioners who are still developing their arm balancing skills. 3 Block Shoulder Support : Here, blocks are placed in front of the practitioner, and the shoulders are pressed against them while in Side Crow. The blocks provide support and stability, allowing the practitioner to focus on core engagement and balance in the pose. 4 Block Hands Side Crow : The blocks provide elevation and support, helping to alleviate strain on the wrists and deepen the engagement of the core and upper body. 5 Eagle Leg Side Crow : In this variation, the practitioner wraps one leg around the other leg in Eagle Pose then twists into Side Crow. This variation adds an extra challenge by requiring greater flexibility in the sides, and outer things. 6 Double straight leg (Dwi Pada Koundinyasana) : This variation of Side Crow involves extending both legs straight out to the side. It requires increased core strength, arm stability, and balance to maintain the pose with both legs extended. 7 Fallen Angel (Devaduuta Panna Asana) : The side of the head is lowered to the floor, the knees spin down, feet to ceiling, then extend one leg upwards. The head support makes this pose easier to balance but not suitable for anyone with neck issues. 8 Twisted Flying Lizard (Eka Pada Koundinyasana I) Variation : Keep underneath leg bent twisted across the body to the opposite knee and lifting the back leg. 9 Twisted Flying Lizard (EPK I) : Extended both legs in this twisted arm balance. To make easier, balance back hip on elbow as well as the front knee. 10 Half Baby Side Eagle Legs. Same as Number 5 but with one forearm grounded. 11 Half Lotus Side Crow : Stand in Half Lotus and then twist into Side Crow. Keep legs tucked or extend the uncrossed leg to the side. This pose requires a fair amount of external rotation at the hip and isn’t accessible to all. 12 Grasshopper Pose (Maksikanagasana): Grasshopper Pose is another challenging arm balance where the practitioner balances on the hands with one foot stood on the upper arm, while the opposite leg extends straight out to the side. This pose requires a strong foundation in arm balances, core stability, and hip flexibility. 13 Arm Reach Side Crow : One arm is extended to the side, enter side crow, then extend also the top leg. This pose is a very challenging variation of Side Crow.
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