Arm Balance Yoga Flow: Twist + Strengthen into Side Crow Pose
Welcome back to your weekly yoga video and welcome back to the arm balance series. We are on week three of discovering, playing and creating arm balance shapes and today, we’re continuing on that journey.
Welcome to your –
Side Crow Yoga Flow
….. or in proper yogic terms, parsva bakasana
Today’s goal is to concentrate on twisting the body, creating upper body strength, firing up the core, and priming both the body and the mind to take flight. This is essentially what we do in all our classes (arm balance or not) with an added dose of confidence to lift off, because let’s be real, no one wants to face plant.
But you will, so get ready, and be thankful that the floor isn’t too far away.
So, side crow.
Where does it fit into our practice, how long will it take you to experience, what do you need to know…. let’s get started.
Well like any yoga lecture I’m giving, I like to always start with – there are no rules – it can fit wherever and whenever you feel ready to take flight. But my favorite place to practice this pose is from twisted chair pose (parivrtta utkatasana). From this twisted, legs together, fired up, core engaged space, we are perfectly setup.
This is how we’ll come into the posture during today’s flow, just so ya know.
But like I said, feel free to play with this, move it around within your practice, and then drop a comment below and let me know how you use it. I’m open to trying it from all different angles, so holllaaaa.
Now the real question is, but how long will it take you to get this pose, or is that just me always wondering that?
Personally, I found side crow shortly after understanding + taking flight in crow pose and without much hesitation (unlike some other arm balances). The strength was already there, the body stacking component was learned, and the confidence was cultivated, it was now simply a matter of the how.
And the how leads me into the below photos + steps to further guide your side crow pose journey.
1. Twisted Chair Pose
Why do we start from this pose? Well, the simple answer is that we’re in a twist and this arm balance, requires a mega twist to sustain it. Also, we can easily lower from this space, keep the twist, and plant our hands to the ground.
Boom. We are ready to side crow it out.
I won’t walk you through this pose, but do know it can be accessed via a twisted crescent pose, then stepping forward to the top of the mat or taken from a traditional chair stance – no right or wrong – just come into it.
2. Hands to the Ground
From your twisted chair pose, keep everything as is, and begin to lower your hips towards the ground, keep going, keep going, and stop once you’re in a full squat/kneeling position.
You’ll know when it’s time to stop.
From here, release your prayer hands to the ground (to your twisted side,) paying special attention to the knee and tricep connection that’s taking place with the front arm. Secure this connection in place, it’s important.
3. Lift the Bum + Hinge Forward
Like crow pose, we initiate the movement by lifting our beautiful bums, deeply engaging our corse muscles, and hinging slightly forward, bringing the shoulders past the wrists.
This is that scary, oh shit moment where you envision yourself face planting…… keep breathing, YOU GOT THIS.
….. and for the love of knowing where you’re headed, gaze forward.
4. Lift Off
And the moment has arrived tribe, it’s time to lift off and fly.
Continue the motion from the above photo and as you hinge forward, allow your feet to lift off, maybe teeter back and forth here, hold the pose with a lot of grunting and puffing, begin to straighten the arms, or move into another arm balance variation.
A few tips to sustain the pose:
- if new to the pose, drop the hips/bum onto the back arm for extra support
- squeeze inner thighs together
- think chaturanga arms + chest in the upper body
- use your core muscles here, obviously
- keep the feet active, leave no body part behind
- begin to straighten the arms if ready to advance the posture
Okay tribe, that was a lot of information, now it’s time to get on our mats and fly.
And please remember, this whole balance on our arms, make cool shapes, feel like a badass comes with time, consistent practice, cultivated strength, and the courage to fall. Don’t become discouraged if today’s flow doesn’t find you flying, there’s always the next flow, and the next experience.
So with that said, unroll your yoga mat and I’ll meet you there.
Article and yoga flow source credits: