Bakasana, also called the Crow pose or the Crane pose, is a posture used in yoga wherein the practitioner basically rests her knees on her slightly bent arms from a crouching position with her feet raised. If done to the fullest extent, the person’s arms are holding the weight of her body, while the feet and legs are lifted entirely off of the floor, resting against the backs of her arms. Although Bakasana is a great yoga pose for building upper body strength, it should not be performed by anyone with a wrist injury. In addition, women who are pregnant should avoid this position, as the risk of falling on the baby is considered high, even for the most experienced practitioners.
There are many benefits to balancing on the hands with yoga positions, such as Bakasana. For example, since the weight of the practitioner’s body rests on the arms, it will strengthen the wrists and arms. It will also strengthen the stomach muscles and tone the back muscles. Some yoga practitioners claim that Bakasana will open the groin area as well. In addition, Bakasana is believed to reduce heartburn symptoms, aid in digestion, and decrease strain associated with tension in the shoulders and neck areas.
Even with the many positive aspects of holding the Bakasana pose, some people, such as pregnant women and people with wrist injuries should avoid it. For example, if a person has an issue with the tendons of her wrists from carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis, this position may cause extreme pain and inflammation of those tendons. For pregnant women, there is a risk of falling on the abdomen, causing the woman to go into premature labor or injuring the baby. In addition, people who have shoulder or neck injuries should complete this yoga move with caution.
Some yoga practitioners may have problems holding this pose, particularly if they are new to yoga or to poses requiring balance on the arms and hands. Those individuals may need to work on increasing their focus, balance, and upper body strength before progressing to this more difficult pose. If a block or firm cushion is placed on the floor, it may give beginners a good place to rest their feet. By raising the feet off of the floor, it may be easier to rest the knees against the arms. In addition, another yoga practitioner may give a person new to the Bakasana pose support and help her perform the position correctly. Also, if the fingers are curled, some of the weight and pressure can be displaced from the practitioner’s wrists.