How To: Crow Pose

welcome to your crow pose tutorial i'll demo first here [Music] so first let's go through the pose with attention to alignment and the mechanics of the pose i'll also point out some common misalignments that tend to happen in this pose that we can try to avoid once we're aware of them and then we'll run through all the different ways that we can use props to find that first kind of lift off so in thinking just about what's happening in this pose our hands are shoulders distance apart similar to where they would be placed for our chaturanga and plank but the arms don't quite go into a full chaturanga position the shoulders won't go as low as the elbows which you'll see her in a moment a lot of people teach this from something like yogi's squat but the danger in doing that is that the hips are so low down in crow pose the hips are really high high up right and the higher we can get the hips the lighter we'll feel when the knees come to the backs of the arms so i like to start crow pose from this kind of folded position here so with the feet towards each other but the knees pointing slightly outward you would come up high into your tippy toes hands are down and you'll bring the backs of the knees there's a little nook on the top of your tricep that you'll place the back of the knees on and in fact this is something we'll use in more of our arm balances and you can even kind of press down onto the tricep and kind of hook your knees there now at this point nothing would happen if i don't shift my weight forward my feet are kind of glued to the mat so i can lift one leg up and then start to look forward i'm still looking down but forward about eight inches and then perhaps the other foot would float up now let's go through some things that will tend to happen if you're new to this pose so oftentimes i'll see elbows wide this way bending out to the sides and if that happens that would be a good indication that a strap could be really beneficial to you because it will help you find stabilization by hugging the elbows in so that might look something like this so again knees up on the backs of the arms you've got the strap there to help you even if you're not fully balancing yet just training those elbows in another common tendency is that we don't shift forward so that when we stack see how my elbows are behind my wrists right now and a lot of times people are just they don't either realize how far they have to shift forward or it's really scary they feel like they might fall and you might fall but that is something that does need to happen the sho the elbows need to stack right over the wrists and that's when you know that you'll be able to take flight there if the elbows are back here the hips and everything behind you is just weighing you back down another common misalignment or tendency that i see is that students look back at their feet and if you think about that what's going to happen is like a somersault right because we're curled into this tight little ball and if you look back at your feet then you'll you're essentially coming into a somersault so when i say look forward i don't mean up you're still looking at the ground but you're not even looking down at your hands you're really looking about eight inches forward of your hands but down so that everything is moving kind of horizontally on your mat and then i indicated another common thing that tends to happen here is people just keep their hips really low and it's really hard to lift everything up and balance on top of your arms if your hips are back here weighing you down so we'll start again with the hips lifted up now some of you that are newer to this position another tendency is that the knees will go to the outsides of the arms now for some that might need to happen for for various reasons maybe there's not enough space or there's not enough hip mobility or core strength yet to bring the knees right onto the backs of the arms so in the beginning if that sounds like you if your knees need to go out to the side just to get that initial kind of float off the floor just let that happen and then as you start to get more comfortable you'll bring your knees to the backs of the arms now when if the knees are on the outside of the arms what will tend to happen is that the legs will slide off the backs of the arms it'll look something like this it might be happening to you right so you want to think of using your inner thigh muscles the adductors hugging everything in towards what we call the midline to keep the legs from not sliding so you're hugging hugging hugging the adductors the inner thighs so let's run through this pose together and we'll use some props here we'll try out some different things so the first thing we'll do if you're brand new to this pose let's grab a crash pad like a pillow or a blanket going to place it out in front of you your hands are not going to be there it's just out in front of you in case your head hits the ground another thing is we could use the strap if you don't have the strap don't worry about it but if you have it you want to check that out let's try that now because we want the hips up it can be helpful to place our feet on two blocks to get more lift so that there's less effort of lifting the hips up now the problem with that is you'll you will need some flexibility to get the hands down right but just bend your knees as much as you need to to do that so your feet are on the blocks your hands are shoulders distance apart lift your hips up you're high up on your tippy toes your knees are just as wide as your arms and place them onto the backs of the triceps now remember don't look back at your feet look forward past your crash pad and feel the shift forward you don't even have to lift your feet off and we'll rock it back and let's shift it forward use those spider fingers and rock it back and we'll shift forward now hold here protract your shoulders think of your cat stretch lift one foot off set it down lift the other one off and set it down we'll take a little mini break and we'll build on from there okay so coming into position lift your hips up knees on the backs of the arms shift your weight forward look past your crash pad lift one foot maybe the other maybe they touch you might fall right back down that's okay hug your elbows in thighs in lift one foot and then the other and we'll come back down okay so if that is not working for you all good i've got more tricks to accept my sleeve here okay so the other thing we can do this doesn't line up for everyone just depending on your proportions and stuff but we could try having a block under our forehead so what that would look like is your hands are here and you'll have to kind of figure out where that's going to land so basically you're here you're and i'm too close so i'm going to walk back a little bit because remember we have to be able to shift forward so we're shifting forward and you might press your forehead into the 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