Side Crow (Parsva Bakasana) is an advanced variation of Crow Pose (Bakasana). This posture requires not just core and arm strength but also strength of mind. Practicing this advanced posture is a great way to build focus and concentration. Physically, it also develops strength in the wrists, arms, abdomen and spine.
1. We start off in and we will then go to Utkatasana (Chair Pose). Bend your knees while keeping your knees and feet pressed together. Raise your arms up and keep your hips low and thighs parallel to the floor.
2. Then bring your palms together at your heart’s center. Exhale and twist to the left, bringing your right elbow to the outside of your left thigh. Make sure your knees are in line with each other (maybe you need to shift your right hip back).
3. Press your upper right arm against your thigh and turn to open your chest to the left for Chair Twist pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana).
4. Next, place both palms flat on the mat shoulders-width distance apart (to the left side of you) without ever losing contact with your right elbow and left knee. Make sure when placing your hands on the floor, that the middle finger is perpendicular to your wrist.
5. Spread your fingers wide, come to the balls of the feet and slowly press the weight from your left knee to the right elbow and distribute the weight evenly into both hands, especially in the knuckles and grab the floor with your fingertips.
6. Once you press the weight evenly into both hands, lift both feet off the floor. You can do so with one foot at a time or with both feet at the same time, whichever you feel more comfortable.
**You may use a block to place underneath your feet to help you lift off the ground.
VARIATION: You may bring your left hip on top of your left elbow/upper arm in case you that you feel that you do not have enough strength to lift up on just on the right upper arm.
7. Find balance and try bringing your feet and legs parallel to the floor. Maybe you need to bring your head closer to the floor in order to bring your legs parallel to the ground. Draw your heels towards your buttocks and keep the core engaged.
8. Keep your gaze forward and try to hold the pose for 5 breaths. Exhale and lower the feet down to the floor. Repeat all the steps on the other side.
Remember to try the posture on both sides and to keep practicing. It is a complicated and more advanced posture so don’t be so hard on yourself if it takes a while for you to find some flight. For sure it will be an amazing and rewarding feeling when you can hold yourself up on just your arms. So keep practicing and in time, all will come. <3