How to Do a Yoga Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana)

By Joe Rivera, eHow Contributing Writer

side crow

Do a Yoga Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana)

Yoga as a practice can be utilized as a path to the discovery of self and understanding of others. The word “YOGA” means union and to most this probably means: union of the mind, body and spirit. While this is a very logical interpretation, it is only one of many possibilities. One of the things I believe that union to be is the bridge between opposing forces. Yin and Yang, darkness and light, your true self and the self you present to the world are all part of the same equation. One could not appreciate light without darkness. In fact, without darkness, light would not even exist. The point I am making is that your Yoga practice can help you gain insight into the true nature of things and open you to the possibility that if you find the bridge between opposing forces–you find balance or even better “Peace.”

Of the many types of Yoga Poses (Asanas), I believe that arm balances reflect this point best.  When you are in one, you are bridging the gap between movement and stillness with complete present-moment focus–an amazing space to be. One of my favorite arm balances is Parsva Bakasana (side crow or also referred to as side crane pose).

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to pull one off so that hopefully you can discover some of what I am trying to convey.


Things You’ll Need:

• Mat

• Yoga Block

• Comfortable, loose-fitting gym attire

1. Step 1

Begin in a squatted position on your mat with your heels up and knees together.

2. Step 2

Twist your entire torso to the right and place both hands outside your right foot.

3. Step 3

Bend your elbows slightly and make sure to have your left elbow as far over to the right beyond the knee as possible.

4. Step 4

Slowly begin to shift your weight from your toes into your hands while leaning your chest forward, keeping your knees bent.

5. Step 5

Using your left elbow like a shelf for your legs, continue to lean forward pulling your abdominals inward toward your spine, and exhale as your toes lift off the ground.

6. Step 6

Proceed to balance on your left tricep and take two to three breaths in this position.

7. Step 7

For a more advanced version of the pose, you can extend both legs to the side or extend the right leg forward and the left leg back.

8. Step 8

Repeat on the other side.

Tips & Warnings

• Using a block in front of you and placing your forehead on it while attempting this pose will make it easier.

• Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to fall.

• If you are in Los Angeles, I’ll teach you how to do this one in person for free. Just come to one of my classes…for details go to my website.

• Just click the link below and go to the section on the site marked classes for details.