Every time I’ve taught a one-on-one session with someone, it was always for 2 reasons: they wanted to nail crow or they wanted to understand chaturanga. These also happen to be 2 of the poses I feel most confident to teach. I’m not gonna lie – it’s a really really hard pose. So I’ve come up with a list of 5 tips I can share with you so that you can nail your next crow, or at least get a little closer to sticking the landing.
1) GO FORWARD MORE
- This is my number 1 tip for people who are trying to get into the pose. If you’re someone who, when you fall out of crow, you fall backwards, it means you’re not going far enough forward. Not sure how far forward you should be going? Here’s a picture of me in crow. Check out the line I drew. It is SO far in front of my wrists. Not going to lie here though – your wrist mobility needs to be pretty good for this to feel ok. Not sure if you have great wrist mobility? Don’t worry – that post is coming soon! (make sure you’re on my email list to stay up to date!)
2) STOP JUMPING
- If you’re someone who jumps into your crow poses, I’m looking at you. Instead of jumping, try controlling your lift off. It’ll make it much easier for you to stay in the pose once you find lift off. This is tied to step number 1 – if you go forwards enough, your feet will float off the ground, making jumping unnecessary.
3) INCREASE YOUR HAMSTRING STRENGTH
- This will help you with step number 2. Long story short, your hamstrings help you pull your heels to your butt. If you can use your hamstrings to pick your feet up, rather than the momentum of jumping, you’ll have an easier time controlling where your body is in space and sticking the arm balance. Not sure how to work on strengthening your hamstrings? Again – not to worry – this post is coming soon (make sure you’re on my email list to stay up to date!)
4) BEND YOUR ELBOWS STRAIGHT BACK – NOT OUT TO THE SIDE
- As you squat down, slide your elbows straight back into your shins. Bend them back into your shins. Find a 90 degree angle with your arms. Think of Chaturanga arms. These are all cues that say the exact same thing. Again look at the picture of me above – my elbows are pointing backwards, not out to the side. Sure, they’re not at a 90 degree angle, but they started at one.
5) JUST FALL SO YOU CAN STOP BEING SCARED
- More often than not this is the number 1 culprit when it comes to why someone can’t get into crow pose, or any other arm balance for that matter. And I get it. I had that fear too. I even face planted once in class. Guess what? No broken nose. No broken face. No blood or tears. What it did was get me over my fear of falling on my face because I had already done it and realized there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore. Falling out of an arm balance is one of the more important things you can do because it allows you to overcome your fear of it. I’m not suggesting you go and fall and hurt your face or your wrists. But grab like 10 pillows and surround yourself and then work on your crow so you feel a little bit better when and if you fall forwards.
Give these things a try and let me know how it goes. And if you want more instruction and more cues, make sure you check out my arm balance classes in my online studio. You’ll learn the tips and tricks in real time that I use to get into these crazy ass shapes and the ways you can use yoga to strengthen and train your body to nail these harder poses.
As always, let me know if you have any questions and good luck with your crows!
Till next time,
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post and want more yoga tips to help you build a stronger, more flexible and dependable body, join my mailing list where I send out weekly tips like this. You can sign up here. Please also feel free to share this with anyone who you think might benefit from these tips!