Kakasana

Kakasana – the crane

The pose can look impressive/daunting to beginners but is relatively easy to achieve. It does require some shoulder and arm strength plus flexibility but a lot is to do with technique and getting your balance both mental and physical. Brute strength might get you up initially but it won’t give you the feeling of lightness, poise and ease that this introduction to the world of arm balances can offer.

Achieving it is a great confidence booster, you didn’t fall flat on your face and even if you did wobble it’s not far to go. Once you know you can hold this pose for 1 minute, many variations will open up to you, explore!

Technique (getting into the pose)

Start in a squat-like position, feet hip-width apart. Making sure your knees are placed as close as possible to your armpits, fold forward, placing your hands on the floor directly beneath the shoulders with the fingers spread.
Bend your elbows slightly and begin to tip forward, coming up onto the balls of your feet, and then the tip toes.
Your knees should be resting onto the outer upper arms, close to the armpits.
Squeeze the legs together, engage the abdominals and the hip flexors.
Start lifting the bottom up, tipping the trunk and head forward. Grounding the palms and pressing firmly. Don’t look directly down – you need to gaze slightly ahead.
You can start coming up to the very tips of your toes, lift one foot and then the other, trying to keep them relatively close together. Get a sense of balance whilst transferring your weight.
Find your balance and lift, straighten the arms, gaze forward not down. Toes together if you can.
Breathe!

Technique (getting out of the pose)
To come out, bend the elbows and lower yourself down slowly, into a squat.

Tips
Keep the lower body strong and pulled together with the legs held up close and tight to the body, activating your thigh adductors will assist with this
Bottom high or gravity will pull you down.
Shoulder blades down and back rounded.

Physical Benefits
Strengthens shoulders, wrist and forearm strength.
Improves balance, concentration and mental equilibrium
Massages the organs of the abdomen
Spiritual Benefits
Deeper trust in ourselves
Contradictions
Those with carpal tunnel syndrome should not do this.
Modifications
Use blocks to squat on.