arm balance pose

Crow, aka Bakasana, is the root of all yoga arm balances and inversions. It can definitely seem scary when you first attempt to balance the weight of your body, on your hands, your face hovering just a few inches from the ground. But with practice, and the knowledge of which muscles to engage (think core), you start to lift and fly and decide that perhaps there are more arm balances in your future. Watching students stick this pose for the first time is always fun as their excitement becomes contagious. Expect to become contagiously excited, and leave feeling strong and open in and after all of my classes this weekend listed below.
Sat 11am - @sanghayogashala
Sat 4:30pm - @lucentyoga
Sun 5pm - @sanghayogashala


Sunny Yogi’s Guide to Crow Pose ♥ 

Arm balances are a great way to find balance and build arm muscles. They are also great for practicing for inversions :) Here is my how to guide on how to do crow pose.  

I would like to mention, that I’m not a yoga teacher and these steps are based off of my experience. 

Step One: Start off Standing 

Root your feet to the ground.  It’s always good to start off with a strong foundation.  

Step Two: Buddha Squat 

From standing, drop down into a buddha squat.  Root your feet down, make sure your back is straight and your chest is lifted.  In this pose you can also use your elbows to push against your thighs to create a hip opener stretch. 

Step Three: Place hands on the ground, and lean forward. 

While in buddha squat set your hands on the floor and then lean forward pressing your knees gently on your upper arm. Make sure your eyes are looking forward- do not collapse your head. 

Step Four: Bend arms slightly. Lean forward a little and press your knees into your arms.  

Bend your arms slightly and lean forward, pressing your knees into your arms.  For beginners maybe try to stay in this pose for awhile, engaging your core and finding your balance.  

I should probably mention that for some people, your arms might hurt if your knees are pressing into your skin.  Wear longer pants! 

Step Five: Raise one leg up. Look forward, keeps eyes looking ahead, and bend your arms some more. 

This step is a good step to practice before you get into the full arm balance.  Raise one leg up and engage your core.  Alternate your legs back and forth. Make sure you can do this step before continuing on :) 

Make sure your head is not collapsed; head up and eyes looking ahead.

Step Six: Raise both legs up. Engage that core! 

Taking a deep breath, raise your other leg up! Make sure your core is engaged.  KEEP YOUR HEAD RAISED AND YOUR EYES FIXED FORWARD. 

Yay, you are now doing crow pose :)  

Additional tips: 

  • Wear longer pants if your knees hurt the skin on your arms. 
  • Put a pillow in front of you if you are afraid of falling flat on your face (something I have done many times!). 
  • Try each step out slowly.  Crow pose is not an easy pose. 
  • Arm and ab exercises can help you improve this pose better. 

Have fun, and be safe when practicing this pose!  Take a picture of your progress and tag me in it! I’d love to see all of your guy’s crow. 


Being unable to do a certain posture doesn’t mean you’re bad at yoga or you’re not as good as other people you see. I get a lot of questions like “why can’t I do this” or “how long does it take to do that pose”… All bodies are different and some postures may take more time to learn/get into than others. Crane pose (straight arms vs crow which has bent arms) has always been hard for me because of the carrying angle in my arms. The angle in my arm bones put so much strain on my wrists when I tried to straighten them that I stopped practicing it because I thought I wouldn’t ever be able to do it. Keep practicing yogis :) you’ll surprise yourself 💕

For the tripod headstand DO NOT PUT YOUR WEIGHT IN YOUR HEAD!!! Very very dangerous thing that most people do. YOU COMPRESS YOUR NECK WHEN YOU DO THAT. Trust me - you do not want a broken neck. 

Your weight should be in your hands, as though you could push up into a handstand from that position. 

The headstand in the picture is a tripod headstand, not a regular headstand. The neck thing applies to both. 

It’s a new moon tonight, so it’s time to let go of old baggage and set new intentions for the month ahead. Join me tonight for 7:30pm Vinyasa at Sangha Yoga Shala to open your body and mind to new, positive goals and then stay afterwards for @_benshen_’s New Moon Ceremony to set them in motion with the universe. See you there!


HOW TO ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Start in high plank. Your shoulders, elbows and wrists are all in line and your back should be straight. Hips in line with your shoulders, head in line with the rest of your spine. Engage the core and the arms. Inhale to shift forward on your toes, letting your shoulders come past your wrists and your chest to shift forward. Exhale lower down, hugging your elbows into your sides (think triceps push-ups). Hover above the mat, with your arms and core engaged. Option to either push back up to plank, or come to upward facing dog to downward facing dog. Option to also complete on your knees.


🌟 Strengthens arm, chest, shoulder, and leg muscles
🌟 Develops core stability
🌟 Builds warmth in the body
🌟 Builds endurance
🌟 Prepares body for inversions and arm balances

This pose is still very difficult for me after surgery but I’m getting a lot better! 💪🏻

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Yoga Poses that Help Build Muscles for Inversions By: Sunny Yogi

For inversions, arm and core strength are really important.  Here are some of my favorite poses that I like to incorporate into my practice that help strengthen my body up for inversions.  

I am not a certified yoga teacher and these poses are just based off of my experience. 

Downward Facing Dog: This pose is great for building up muscle in the arms and shoulders.  You can also do 3 legged downward dog to add a stretch in the legs. 

Dolphin Pose: This pose is great for shoulders and triceps.  This is also a great prep pose for forearm stands. 

Chaturanga: I incorporate a lot of these into my practice. Chaturanga’s are great for arm and core strength.  You could do a three legged chaturanga if you want to give yourself a little challenge :) 

Plank: A great pose for building strength in the core.  You can go on your forearms too, if you want. 

Side Plank Pose: Good for the core and obliques!  You can go on your forearms or play around with you leg placement. 

Extended Side Angle Pose: I like to challenge myself by raising both of my arms so only my core is working here.  You can clasp your hands in front of you or make them into an “L” shape.  

Warrior III: This pose is great for the core and for balance.  Your hands can be out in front of you, beside you, in a prayer position, or clasped behind you. 

Boat Pose: This is great for the core.  I like to fold down to the ground (until I’m like 2 inches from the ground) and hold it there for 3-4 breaths.  You can also incorporate crunches into this pose! 

Crow Pose: Arm balances are really great for gaining strength in the core AND the arms.  

Other tips:  Another thing I find that really builds core muscles is going slow and having a lot of control in transitions.  Next time you practice, really practice controlling yourself and moving slowly into each pose.  

Good luck! And please be patient. Results don’t show up right away.  If you start getting discouraged, smile and tell yourself that you can do it! :) 

It’s the last day of summer and fall’s approach can be felt in the cool air. Join me tonight at 7:30pm at Sangha Yoga Shala for some invigorating, strengthening and lengthening vinyasa flow as your final salutation to the warm months. See you there!