Bakasana (Crane Pose), is the most important of all arm balances, since understanding how to do Bakasana lays the foundation for more challenging arm balances. Arm balances are complex, and they reveal how the flexibility and strength that carry newcomers through many poses cannot replace skills mature yoga practitioners develop over years of practice.
Most people who fail at this arm balance have not distributed their weight correctly. The most common mistake students make is lifting their hips so high that their poses are too vertical–they become diving cranes! Some people get their feet off the floor this way, but then their pose becomes very heavy on the arms. Crane Pose performed in this manner avoids the weight shift essential to understanding this asana and evolving into other arm balances.
Instead, feel the abdominal and thigh action that is the for Bakasana. Squat on your tiptoes and bend forward to position your shoulders or upper arms under the shins. Strongly lift your head and chest while pressing the arms back against the shins. Without putting further weight on your arms, and keeping your chest lifted, pull your abdomen in and raise your hips to shoulder level. Though difficult, this action gives you a sense of where the real strength of arm balances comes from.
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