Bakāsana (Crow Pose)


Baka: Crow/ Crane

Asana: Posture/ Seat





When performing bakāsana, the following actions occur on the upper limbs:


  • Wrist dorsiflexion

Agonist: Extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor carpi radialis, extensor digitorum and other intrinsic muscles located along the upper joint of the wrist

Antagonist: Flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor carpi radialis and other intrinsic muscles located along the lower joint of the wrist


  • Forearm pronation

Agonist: Pronator quadratus and pronator teres muscle

Antagonist: Supinator muscle


  • Elbow flexion when getting into the pose

Agonist: Bicep brachii

Antagonist: Tricep brachii


  • Elbow extension towards the end of the pose

Agonist: Tricep brachii

Antagonist: Bicep brachii


  • Shoulder flexion and adduction

Agonist: Anterior deltoid, supraspinatus, subscapularis

Antagonist: Posterior deltoid, infraspinatus, teres minor


  • Scapula abduction

Agonist: Serratus anterior, pectoralis major, pectorialis minor, coracobrachialis

Antagonist: Rhomboideus, trapezius, teres major,  teres minor, infraspinatus



When performing bakāsana, the following actions occur on the spine:

  • Cervical extension

Agonist: Rectus capitis posterior, obliquus capitis superior

Antagonist: Semispinalis, splenius, levator scapulae


  • Thoracic and lumbar flexion

Agonist: Psoas major (upper fibers), psoas minor, abdominal muscles, pelvic floor

Antagonist: Erector spinae, multifidus spinae, latissimus dorsi


When performing bakāsana, the following actions occur on the lower limbs:


  • Hip flexion and adduction

Agonist: Psoas major, iliacus, pectineus, adductor longus and brevis

Antagonist: Gluteus maximus


  • Knee flexion

Agonist: Hamstrings

Antagonist: Quads




Biceps brachii Flexion at elbow joints
Coracobrachialis Abduction of scapula




Deltoids Stabilize and protect shoulder joints
Triceps brachii Extension at elbow joints
Back Trapezius Abduction of scapula
Thorax Serratus anterior Abduction of scapula



Pectorialis major Abduction of scapula
Iliac Region Psoas major

Adduction and hip flexion

Spinal/ thoracic flexion

Iliacus Adduction and  hip flexion


* Arm: Initially flexion at elbow joints occurs but move towards extension against gravity while lifting the pose to straighten the arms.

* Legs: Contraction of hamstring supports knee extension when the heels are closer to the butt


Bakasana Tutorial

1 At the centre of your mat, stand in Tadasana with both feet about shoulder width apart and squat down into Malasana.

2 Extend your arms forward, bend the elbows and place them on the ground, positioning your knees on the triceps or as close as possible to the armpit.

3 Slowly lift your belly towards the ceiling and lift one leg off at a time, while maintaining a firm grounding with both palms.

4 Keep both heels close to the butt and try to straighten the arms. Maintain a straight gaze and breathe steadily into the pose.


 Physical benefits:

  • Strengthen wrists and arms.
  • Stretches the upper back and increases the flexibility and elasticity of the spine.
  • Strengthens and tones various muscles and organs in the abdominal region.
  • Opens up the groin region.
  • Sense of balance, concentration, and co-ordination improves by practicing this posture regularly.


J (Nov 2014, 200Hr Weekday)