Side Crow Yoga Pose
overview

Side Crow Yoga Pose is an arm balance pose that targets the biceps and triceps and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an advanced level.

manipura – the wisdom chakra
related poses
How To Do Side Crow Yoga Pose
  1. To begin, place your feet about an inch or two away from one another. Inhale deeply and bend your knees to a squat, balancing on the toes and balls of your feet.
  2. Twist your torso to the left, placing both of your palms flat on the floor outside of your left leg, shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers to create more stability, then press your left knee into the upper part of your right arm. At the same time, press against your left arm with your left hip, evenly distributing your body’s weight and pushing equally against both arms. Hold this position for a few moments until you have a stable base.
  3. Before you begin to lift your feet off of the ground, make sure your left knee and left hip are both positioned just above your elbows; your elbows are going to act as a kind of shelf when you begin to lift. Shift your weight forward through your left leg and into your arms, letting the weight move away from your feet while still keeping them on the ground. Try this a couple of times, adjusting your arms and left leg until they are placed properly for the lift.
  4. Once you’re comfortable, exhale as you slowly transfer the weight of your leg fully onto your arms, leaning your head forward and moving closer toward the floor. As you move forward, your legs will come together and you will feel your feet begin to lift naturally, left leg resting on your slightly bent elbows. Let both feet lift off of the floor, keeping your legs firm and active. At this point, your knees should be bent and together, facing away from your right arm. Your face should be hovering a few inches above the ground and all of your weight pushing into the floor through your palms.
  5. Hold this position for a few breaths, but try to stay in the position for at least 20 seconds if possible. To come out, slowly moving your weight off your arms and back into your legs, placing them softly on the floor. Repeat the steps with the other side.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • You will most likely be unable to perform this pose fully until you’ve practiced a few times, even if you’re already quite balanced or flexible. Starting out, you may have to stop after steps 2 or 3, moving onto the next steps after you feel comfortable.
  • Do not perform if you have an arm or wrist injury.
Tips

If you’re having trouble staying balanced, place a block, bolster, or even folded towels or blankets on the floor to rest your forehead on. This will also help you feel secure if you’re unstable from fear of falling on your face.
When just starting out this pose, it’s best to have a blanket placed slightly in front of you to break your fall in case you lose your balance.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Biceps, triceps, wrists, hands, abs

Target Muscles: Biceps, triceps

Health Benefits of Side Crow Yoga Pose
  • Improves balance and concentration.
  • Strengthens core muscles.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Parsva Kakasana

(parsh-vah kah-kAHs-anna)

parsva: side, near, proximate
kaka: crow
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

The terms Parsva Kakasana (Side Crow) and Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane) are often used interchangeably for the same position, but there are distinctions between the poses. Kakasana, or Side Crow, utilizes the bent arms to assist in the lifting of the body. Side Crane, or Bakasana, involves keeping the arms straight with the knees at the armpits. Cranes have long legs, indicated in the length of the arms, and the bent arms of Kakasana resemble the short legs of a crow.
We are constantly researching to find more information about the history and mythology behind each pose. If you have any further information, we’d love to hear from you.