The spiritual practice of yoga gives a person the opportunity to improve not only his physical health, but also his spiritual condition. Therefore, every year more and more people seek to learn the ancient teachings in order to get rid of various life problems. So, a set of classes for students to practice includes Bakasana, which is also called - Crane Pose. How to master the technique of its implementation, and how to get the maximum benefit with its help, read in our article.
The name of this yoga position originates from the combination of the two words "bak" and "asana", which in Sanskrit means "crane" and "body position". And this is understandable, because when performing this position, the human body acquires the same silhouette as a crane (or heron) wandering through the water.
4 reasons why you should master the pose
The crane pose is one of the asanas with an average level of difficulty. In this regard, a beginner, before trying Bakasana, must first learn easier exercises and learn safety precautions. Of no small importance for those who will practice crane pose for the first time is the presence and consultation of a more experienced instructor.
Like any other pose in yoga, Bakasana has a wide range of positive effects. Moreover, its benefits have a beneficial effect not only on the physical aspect of human health, but also on his spiritual condition.
What is the use of such a pose:
- Firstly, it helps strengthen the muscular atlas of the upper part of the body (shoulders, arms, chest), as well as the back.
- Secondly, Bakasana allows you to pump the abdominal press, as well as optimize the functioning of internal organs and systems located in this area.
- Thirdly, it stimulates and optimizes blood circulation in the coccyx.
- Fourth, due to the anti-gravity position adopted during Bakasana, prana is concentrated in the abdomen, which contributes to the healing and activation of the Manipura Chakra.
The crane position will be especially useful for those who are faced with an increased load on the wrist joints. During your stay in Bakasan, these areas are carefully worked out - the muscles become stronger and able to withstand any effort. Therefore, it is recommended to practice such an asana for people who are professionally involved in sports (basketball, tennis, etc.).
Bakasana - Crane Pose in Yoga
The crane is a contemplative bird. He is calm and alert, standing for a long time in shallow water, watching the water. Thus embodies a meditative state. In one of the classical yoga treatises entitled "The ancient tantric techniques of yoga and kriya" of the Bihar school of yoga, the asana is explained as the "pose of the contemplating crane": "bak" - ‘crane’, д dhyana ‘contemplation’. Baka Dhyanasana is one of the variants of the name Bakasana, or Crane Pose.
As a rule, hand-held balances look quite spectacular and are able to impress the observer, causing a desire to try to master such positions. Crane pose is performed in a calm state of mind, helps to maintain balance and the development of sustainable consciousness. On the physical plane, strengthens the muscles of the hands.
Technique for developing asana "Crane Pose." Implementation Recommendations
Place your palms on the floor shoulder width apart. Bend your arms, pulling your elbows back. Stand with your feet closed on the tips of your toes and place your bent knees on your shoulders as close as possible to your armpits. Then feed forward with the body. Lift your feet above the floor, first trying one, and then two legs together. Further, smoothly performing exhalation, tighten the feet to the buttocks, actively connecting the work of the leg muscles and abs. An important point for the successful development of the asana is to carry out the tilt position of the body so that the forearm remains perpendicular to the floor, and the shoulders move forward, the line of the shoulder girdle should be extended beyond the line of the fingers pressed to the floor. For beginners to master this position, it may be relevant to use props, which we recommend putting under the forehead, to support the body at three points - palms and head - instead of two. In the final version, of course, the body will rest only on its hands. If possible, raise your head up, looking straight ahead.
How much to stand in crane pose
You can stay in this position for a convenient amount of time. Start with a few seconds, gradually increasing up to 30 seconds, and then up to 5 minutes, sometimes, possibly lowering and raising the feet back. Finishing, slowly lower the feet to the floor. Perform liberation and compensation for the wrist joints. If possible, repeat the asana again.
You can breathe deeply and fairly slowly, or hold your breath after inhaling, or after exhaling. Be aware of this state of calm and balance.
Crane Pose: Benefit
Strengthens hands and arms. Heals many diseases of the shoulder girdle. Regular practice of crane poses will help to maintain the body in the best balance and will contribute to the spiritual and mental balance. In this case, the brain is actively supplied with oxygen due to an increase in blood flow, and as a result, the ability to concentrate increases. These effects contribute to better eye and ear health. Regular practice will make it easier for you to endure pain and any physical ailment. On the mental plane, resistance to difficult living conditions will increase markedly. Thanks to this, a yogi with equanimity and composure can better cope with any difficult life situations, being an example for others.
Bakasana in Yoga
The correct execution of Bakasana contributes to the concentration of energy in the area of manipura-chakra and its activation. It is this chakra that is responsible for gaining self-confidence, determination, willpower and powerful motivation. Those who have this chakra balanced, successful, hardworking and efficient. And also Manipura is responsible for the ability to sacrifice everything for the development of others.
By regularly performing this balance, it improves concentration, coordination, and a sense of balance.
Why Bakasan doesn't work
- Strengthen the muscles of your body.
You will need to tone the muscles. Power asanas will help you in this to strengthen your arms, back, shoulder girdle.
- Calm your mind in concentration so that after the mind your body calms down for a qualitative balance.
Balances ideally show the state of our mind: if the body is restless, this indicates a disturbed mind at the moment. Practice balance asanas and concentration practices.
- Defeat your fear.
Many hand balances and inverted asanas frighten novice practitioners, it seems that this is something unreal. A restless mind in fear begins to shake our whole body and we become even worse. However, if you calm down your internal dialogue and try, the body immediately adjusts to the desired position. In Bakasan, there is nothing dangerous and complicated, the pose does not require excessive stamina and strength, the weight is distributed evenly. Just breathe evenly and keep your balance. Concentration and lightness.
- Bleed and strengthen your wrists. This is what must be really strong and prepared for the successful implementation of the crane position.
- Warm up the muscles of the arms, back and shoulder girdle.
Preparing for Bakasan. How to learn to make Bakasana
Do not forget to warm up the muscles and joints before performing Bakasana, for this, do a few circles of Surya Namaskar or joint gymnastics, and then the following asanas:
- Malasana. Asana will help to open the hips. And to immediately strengthen the wrists, you can stretch them, resting the back of the palms on the floor, wrists forward.
- Marjariasana. Stand in the pose of the table and in dynamics go into the pose of the cat, then the cows. As you inhale, carry your chest over the floor, then lift it higher, bending in the back, bring the shoulder blades together and look up. On exhalation, again carrying the chest as low as possible above the floor, round the back, pushing it up, looking down. This is one of the simplest exercises in yoga, but one of the most effective for working out the entire back, for stretching and strengthening the muscles along the spine, for healing the whole body.
- Baddha Konasana. Another effective asana for opening the hips. Sit flat on the mat, bring the feet together and pull them closer to the hips, and knees apart. Swing your knees up and down like a butterfly wings.
- Urdhva chaturanga dandasana (plank). Asana to strengthen the muscles of the whole body, to develop willpower and endurance. Every day, perform a pose, gradually increasing the time spent in it.
Get started with practice.
The benefits of Bakasana
Bakasana pumps up the muscular corset of the back, improving posture, providing strong support to the spine and relieving back pain and neck-shoulder syndrome. Develops the relief of the arms and shoulders, strengthens the wrists. It improves blood circulation in the abdominal region, improving the functioning of internal organs.
It opens the hip joints, positively affects the respiratory system and strengthens the nervous system. Trains the vestibular apparatus and improves coordination of movements.
Also, the Crane Pose makes us calmer and more stable over time emotionally, helps to overcome the fear of “sensation of flight” in the balances on the hands.
- Put your feet together, squat down and spread your knees apart. Before you can put a folded blanket, so as not to be afraid to fall forward.
- Tilt your body forward between your knees and hips.
- Place your palms on the floor shoulder-width apart, pressing them well to the floor and spreading your fingers. Spread your elbows to the sides and point them to the floor, press your shoulders (upper arms from the elbow to the shoulder joint) to the lower legs on both sides.
- Lift your pelvis up. Using the upper parts of the arms, like shelves for the legs, transfer the weight of the body and body forward to the arms. If your lower legs roll down from your shoulders, try keeping the upper arms above your elbow almost parallel to the floor.
- Lift your heels, lifting them off the floor, and stay on your toes. Hold your breath, catch the balance and try to tear one leg off the floor, then the other, and then both together.
- The center of gravity balances above the point between the palms. Breathe smoothly and slowly. Concentrate your gaze and your whole mind on a point on the floor.
- Connect the feet, pressing them to each other, and move a little back. The muscles of the back, abs, hips and pelvis in good shape, the heels and buttocks tend to each other. The back is round, the neck is extended. Stay in the pose for as long as you can.
- Be sure to stretch your wrists after Bakasana.
- Do not be discouraged if the asana did not work the first time. Show a little patience and work hard, practice regularly and the results will not be long in coming.
In the final version of Bakasana, the hands need to be straightened at the elbows, then they become very similar to the long legs of the crane. And so that the legs do not roll off the shoulders, the knees should be directed forward and rested on the back of the arms, just below the armpits. Hands lean forward slightly, the neck extends upward, the head rises, and we look forward.
From this position, over time, a yoga practitioner learns to step upright in his arms.
There are also performing techniques for practicing practitioners for a long time - from the handstand or from the headstand (a little easier).
Having performed a headstand with support on the hands, you need to bend your knees and lower them so that the hips bring to the chest and stomach. Set the knees on the upper part of the arms just below the armpits, connect the feet together. Hold your breath, raise your head and rotate the top of the chassis horizontally to the floor. Breathe slowly and calmly. Keep your pelvic, hips, and lower back muscles tight, and keep your feet flat. Straighten your arms, stretch your neck and raise your head. Hold the asana for as long as you can. Then lower your head and return to the headstand. Lower your legs and rest in Shavasana.
Subtleties and features that should be considered when performing
Performing Bakasana for those embarking on it for the first time will seem quite difficult. The fact is that during the first classes a strong load will be placed on the practitioner's hands. But over time, when your hands get stronger and you learn to maintain balance, you will easily cope with such an asana.
What is important to know before trying to make a crane pose:
- Given that the ability to carry out full-fledged deep breathing will be limited, get ready for the fact that you will need to take shallow and smooth breaths.
- When doing Bakasana at the top, you will need to flatten the shoulder blades and straighten the neck. This will provide not only full circulation, but also help maintain balance.
- People who suffer from diseases of the joints that are in the acute stage should not practice such an asana in order to avoid adverse effects.
After you have learned the nuances and features of Bakasana, you can proceed to the initial development of the crane pose. The step-by-step technique for its implementation looks like this:
- Standing, move your feet to each other. Squat down and, firmly pressing the feet to the floor, lift the seat. At this stage, it is important to learn how to balance.
- Without spreading your feet, spread the knees on the sides and tilt the body forward, resting your hands in front of you under the knees.
- Starting to inhale deeply, bend your elbows and tear off your feet smoothly from the floor. To move your body weight into your arms, first rest your lower legs on the upper arms. Stopping in this position for a few seconds, take a few breaths.
- Leaning smoothly forward, tear off your toes from the floor and try to straighten your arms, also leaning on the upper part of the hands with shins, as in the photo.
- Stay in this position by lifting your head and bringing the shoulder blades together for 20-30 seconds. Then return to the starting position, making movements in the reverse order.
Instructions for completing Bakasana on video.
Be careful - at the initial stage, due to a lack of experience, there may be a fall forward. Therefore, you should make insurance for yourself - lay something soft in front of you that could reduce the impact. In addition, the beginner should not do Bakasana alone. It is worth asking someone to insure you in the first lessons.
How to prepare your body?
Although instructors say that the crane position is the first step towards a successful handstand, you must first master Bakasana to perfection. And in order to prepare your body for the upcoming load, you can perform a complex of the following exercises:
- classic push ups
- pull-ups on the horizontal bar,
- twisting the body from a prone position,
- the implementation of other "bird" asanas (pigeon, eagle), as well as the pose of a cat and a cobra.
Success in the practical development of the crane / heron pose allows you to get the maximum benefit, which is famous for hatha yoga. However, pregnant women and people with diseased joints should not try their hand at studying this position.
Bakasana: mastering in stages
The crane pose, or bakasana ("tank" in Sanskrit - the crane), is a simple handstand in the lower emphasis when the body is located diagonally above the floor.
There are three options for performing:
- Zero level, in which the practitioner learns to balance on his hands, resting his lower leg in triceps.In this embodiment, the arms are bent almost at a right angle, and the body is located almost parallel to the floor, which greatly simplifies the development of the position.
- The basic version, in which 85-90% of the weight falls on the hands, and the emphasis on the legs in the triceps is reduced to the possible limit. The body is located at an angle of 55-75 degrees above the floor, which makes it possible to work deeper into the corset and the broadest muscles of the back and straighten your arms more.
- An advanced level involves straight arms and a shift in body weight more forward.
The essence of the situation
How to learn a crane pose, if you go to a yoga studio for the recommendations and explanations of a competent teacher there is no way? At home, it is also possible to master bakasana without problems. Many try to run the advanced version right away, ignoring simple versions. This is the first mistake, because in order to be able to perform complex asanas, you first need to master simple modifications that give an understanding of the essence and practical skills.
Most believe that the crane pose in yoga is performed thanks to strong hands. This is a misconception. The basic version of the asana is performed solely due to balancing, that is, the ability to distribute the body weight evenly on the fulcrum, positioning the center of gravity exactly above them, not being afraid to “peck” the nose down. And only in the advanced version is some kind of muscle strength important.
Entry level: how to do it?
The crane pose in yoga is based on getting rid of a feeling of fear of an inverted position, when the pelvis is above the head and the legs are not involved at all as a support. It is psychology that is most important in trying to master this pose: as long as fear fetters the body, nothing will work, the bird will not fly up. Therefore, at the initial stage of development, it is necessary to feel confidence in the hands without raising the pelvis high so that the body weight does not shift too forward.
To do this, do the following steps step by step:
- From the squatting position, spread your knees to the sides and press your palms tightly to the floor at shoulder width (or slightly more). Position the elbow joints exactly above the wrists and bend your elbows a little, rest your hands on the arms above, shift the weight slightly forward, lifting yourself to your fingertips. It is important to feel that the weight has gone as far as possible, and the feet are only a point to maintain the necessary balance.
- When confidence in the position is achieved, try to lift one foot from the floor alternately until the feeling of confidence and control is fully mastered.
- The next step is to remove both feet from the floor. To do this, do all the previous movements, but take the chest forward a little more. The shifted center of gravity will lift the body above the floor if the weight in the hands is evenly distributed, and the legs themselves come off the floor. This is a necessary indicator of the ability to shift body weight from one fulcrum to another (from feet to hands).
If the basic level of bakasana is carefully mastered (the posture is rebuilt on the first try and is fixed for at least 30 seconds), then you can proceed to a deeper version. To do this, the interscapular zone should be activated, rounding the back and raising it higher. You should also include the muscles of the hips and the press so that they are as close to each other as possible. Gradually straighten your arms until the elbows become completely straight, while it is important to divert the body weight more forward to maintain balance. This is not the easiest position, but as you master and harmoniously work the whole body, everything will surely work out.
This photo of a crane pose in yoga clearly shows how important it is to correctly position the body weight above the fulcrum.
Important subtleties for quick development
In order to easily and without too much stress master the crane pose in yoga, you should know several key points due to which prolonged fixing of the pose will not be a problem.
- Make sure that the forearms are parallel to each other, it is unacceptable to move apart with the elbows to the sides. Otherwise, the body will fall down, and not fly up.
- When both legs are in the air, it is best to connect the feet with the tips of the toes, then the legs will be more controlled in space, especially when the deep level will be worked out.
- It is important not to lower your head down, otherwise a somersault forward due to excessive shift of body weight.
- Try to keep the pelvis above the line of the chest or shoulders. This makes it possible to reduce the power load on the stabilizer muscles.
It should be borne in mind that before you begin to master the crane pose in yoga, you need to prepare the body with simpler asanas: for example, to strengthen the shoulder girdle and wrists, use different options for the strap, push-ups and dolphin pose for the ability to distribute body weight on the hands with minimal resting on the legs. It will also not be superfluous to work in different versions of the dough, in order to strengthen the press. At the same time, at the beginning of work with bakasana, padahastasana should already be worked out, which stretches the wrists and the back surface of the legs, because without deep folding in the hips it will be problematic to build a crane pose.
No matter how terrible the crane's pose for beginners may seem, to master it will take much less time than it might seem at the beginning of the practice. The ability to focus on the process, observe the sensations and analyze the ongoing work of the body - this is primary in practice, and muscle ownership will come with time and experience.