Bakasana Benefits and Steps To Do The Crane Pose

April 14,2024

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“Do The Thing You Fear To Do And Keep On Doing It… That Is The Quickest And Surest Way Ever Yet Discovered To Conquer Fear” - Dale Carnegie.

Fear cripples all of us now and then. We all are very well aware of that feeling of blacking out and freezing that sometimes happens at the most unwelcome time. Not to mention it always causes a lot of distress in the long run.

But, there is something that you can do to keep your head on the ground while dealing with a fearful situation and to eventually emerge victorious, that is, if you are an advanced-level Yogi. The name of this thing is Bakasana, a Yoga asana that will help you fight your fears and do much more. Let's embark on a journey into the depths of this elegant yet demanding posture, exploring the benefits of Bakasana, unraveling a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Crane Pose, delving into the anatomy of Balasana, addressing important considerations regarding when not to perform the Crane Pose, and finally, addressing common questions and doubts that may arise about Bakasana.

Before you start with this asana make sure you have the ground support this yoga asana need a.k.a a thick non skid dry yoga mat.

What is Bakasana a.k.a Crane Pose

Bakasana, also known as the Crane Pose, is an arm balancing pose. What is known to be one of the most challenging Yoga poses out there, it requires the student to essentially lift their body in the air while putting all of their body weight onto their arms. This gravity-defying pose is beautiful and humbling at the same time as it makes us more aware of ourselves, our place in the world and what affects us daily. 

The first description of this asana can be found in the 19th-century Sritattvanidhi. In addition, the crane pose also has its connections to Indian mythology, specifically to the lore involving a crane hiding in disguise when the five Pandavas were traversing through the forest to which they were exiled.

What Are The Benefits Of Bakasana a.k.a Crane Pose

There are several perks of doing the Bakasana also known as the Crane Pose regularly. Some of the benefits that Yogis specifically do the Crane Pose for are as follows:

Bakasana Can Help You Overcome Fear: This asana is indeed something that a lot of people fear doing in the first go, and in some regards, that too is one of the main reasons for doing this pose. While doing the Bakasana, one also learns to conquer their fear of the unknown in addition to their other demons, thus making them more courageous people in life overall.

Bakasana Can Make Your Arms Stronger: At one point in time while doing the Bakasana, you will put all of your body weight onto your arms and wrists while you make the rest of your body defy gravity. This results in a lot of pressure being applied to your instruments of daily use, which will eventually make you stronger in the long run.

Bakasana Can Help You Build A Sense Of Body Balance: In Bakasana, you will also be required to learn to balance your body while it is sort of suspended in mid-air every time you do it, thus increasing your sense of balance over time.

Bakasana Can Help You Fight Depression: As much as environmental factors play a part in causing an individual to suffer from depression, there are chemical factors at play too. The increase of stress hormones and the lack of feel-good hormones, such as Dopamine, can cause depression as well. Bakasana can combat that as in this asana, the student is required to suspend themselves from the ground, which causes an increase in the blood flow in the student’s brain, which also results in a positive change in the brain’s chemistry.

Bakasana Can Help You Get a Strong Core: the abdominal muscles are one of the many muscle groups that are directly impacted by Bakasana. Here, the core is tested to its limits at a time during the duration, causing it to eventually strengthen with time and regular practice.

How To Do Bakasana a.k.a Crane Pose

  • Bakasana Step 1: Lie down on your back across the length of your mat.
  • Bakasana Step 2: Lift your knees in the air and make sure that the lower half of your legs are parallel to the ground. Simultaneously, raise your arms in such a way that they are perpendicular to your shoulders and your palms are facing the sky.
  • Bakasana Step 3: Slowly and gently bring your knees to your armpits. Make sure that your shoulders are coming ahead, your neck is activated and your toes are facing upwards.
  • Bakasana Step 4: Come to a resting position by unfolding yourself in such a way that you are lying flat on the mat on your back and your limbs are at ease as well. At this point, you would have done a bit of a warm-up for the main Bakasana pose.
  • Bakasana Step 5: Get into the main Bakasana position by first squatting on the mat and then placing your arms in front of you. Make sure that the palms are touching the ground and the distance between your arms matches that of your shoulders. Ensure that your triceps are facing the back at all times.
  • Bakasana Step 6: Transfer the weight of your body onto your fingertips to be able to lift your lower body off the ground. However, before that, make sure that you have successfully placed your knees against the lower half of your triceps to provide support.
  • Bakasana Step 7: Gently raise one leg after the other while providing the knee the much-needed support to get into the final position. Maintain this position for 45-60 seconds for best results.
  • Bakasana Step 7: Come out of the position by first keeping your legs down and then returning to the squat to complete one repetition.

 Bakasana contraindications

For the sake of your safety, you should ideally avoid the Bakasana also known as the Crane Pose if you have one of any number of the following symptoms.

  • You should avoid Bakasana if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Stay clear of the Bakasana if you have injured your elbows, shoulders and/or arms.
  • Avoid this pose if you are pregnant as this asana puts a lot of pressure on the abdominal area.
  • Strictly stay clear of the Bakasana if you have injured your hips in the recent past and/or have had hip replacement surgery done.
  • Certainly, stay clear of the Bakasana if you have a case of high blood pressure.

Keep in mind that the severity of each of the aforementioned contraindications can differ in the case of every individual, hence you can also always ask a certified health professional before thinking about this pose as well.

Anatomy of Bakasana

An anatomical exploration of the Bakasana also known as the Crane Pose reveals that it can very well be a full-body workout on its own. It is as follows:

In the starting position, you are setting off on the journey of doing the Bakasana by placing your hands in front of you. Not only will you be connecting yourself to the vibrations of the earth, but you will also be engaging your biceps, triceps, forearms, and tibialis. In addition, your upper middle back, or your dorsal fins, will begin to feel the stretch as well.

Next, it is time to bring your upper back into the mix as well. The moment you begin to place your knees on the base of your triceps, you are squeezing your back even further. The legs, on the other hand, are also getting a workout at this point, with all the pressure coming onto them as well. Finally, one will feel the greatest amount of pressure in the core area while you are in the final position.

When maintaining it, you are bound to feel the pressure all over, including your gluteus minimus and maximus muscles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bakasana

Why Is It Called Bakasana

The term Bakasana is Sanskrit for “The Crane Pose”. It can be broken down into two parts; Namely Baka and Asana, meaning Crane and Pose respectively. This Yoga pose has been named as such because upon achieving the final position, the Yogi begins to look like a crane. Due to its translation, this posture is also known as “The Crane Pose” in the West.

What are the techniques of Bakasana?

Some of the alternative techniques of the Bakasana are as follows:

The Side Crow Pose: In this variation, the student extends their leg in a way that they are perpendicular to the ground and all of the knees are on one side of the student’s body. This iteration is done by those who would like to engage their core further.

The Firefly Pose: Here, the rear end of the student is more towards the ground while the legs are extended high in the air on both sides to give the lower body more of a workout.

Crow Pose With Eagle Legs: This is your standard crane pose, with the exception being the student’s legs crossed over when in final form. This iteration is known to engage the leg muscles all the more.

Side Crow Pose: Here, the student’s feet stay on the ground while being bent towards one side. This is a warm-up of sorts for the main crane pose.

Crow Pose With Block: In this iteration, the student keeps a block where they expect their feet to land as a means of providing psychological assurance of not getting off balance while exiting the pose to the student.

How Can One Get Better At Bakasana

You can get better at Bakasana also known as the Crane Pose with patience, practice and strict adherence to the step-by-step guide for the Bakasana that you will find along with this article. If you think that the main Bakasana is quite challenging, you can warm your body up beforehand by doing preparatory poses such as the Ardha Mukha Savasana. Alternatively, you can go for any one of the easier Bakasana variants.