Parsva Kakasana (Side Crow Pose)

English Name : Side Crow Pose
Sanskrit Name : Parsva Kakasana

  • Parsva — Side
  • Kaka — Crow
  • Asana — Pose

Step by Step Instruction :
1. Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), standing on top of your mat with your feet together. Let the bases of your big toes touching, make sure that the feet are parallel. Lift and spread your toes, feel your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
2. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor, palms facing each other. Exhale and bend your knees. Gently push your pelvis down as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair and take the thighs as nearly parallel to the floor as possible. Lower your arms and bring your palms together in prayer position at your chest.
3. Twist your torso to the right with every exhalation, bring your left lower ribs across toward your right thigh as far as you can. Deepen the twist here and bring your left elbow outside of the right thigh. Shift your left hip back slightly, squaring your hips to the top of your mat. Bring your knees back to the center, both knees pointing forward. Press your upper left arm against your thigh and draw your right shoulder back to turn your chest to the right. Keep your gaze up to the ceiling and look over your right shoulder.
4. Deepen your twist with every exhalation, until you reach your maximum rotation, bring the left upper arm as closer to the right hips at the same time. Sink your hips low to the mat, bending your knees deeply and come into a full squat now.  Place both palms flat on the mat to the right of you, palms should be parallel to each other. Keeping your arms shoulder-width apart, square your upper body to the length of your mat. Come onto the balls of your feet to do this. Bring your left arm’s outer armpit as high as possible along the outside of your right thigh. Spread your fingers out widely and distribute the weight evenly throughout your palms, press the heels of the palm firmly onto the ground. Most of the weight will still be on the legs here.
5. Begin to shift your body forward and bend your arms into Chaturanga arms (Push-up postion). Place the outside of your right knee on the back of your left upper arm. Your right hip and knee should be in one straight line. Keep your knees together. Shift your body forward more and feel the weight shifting from the feet to the arms. Feel the weight onto the feet decreasing until the lift easily. Do not throw all the weight onto the arms, engage the core and feel lifted. Keep the feet together and draw the heels towards your buttocks as much as possible. Work toward bringing your feet and legs parallel to the floor. Do not sink the right shoulder down here, keep both shoulders in line. Straighten your arms as much as possible. Raise your chest and head to look forward toward the horizon. Repeat it on the other side.
Muscles Activated :

  • Serratus anterrior
  • Pectoral muscles (pectoris major and minor)
  • Pronators teres
  • Quadratus lumborum
  • Flexors carpi radialis
  • Ulnaris (wrist flexors)
  • Triceps
  • Front deltoids and lateral deltoids
  • Tensor fascia lata
  • Gluteus medius (hips muscles)
  • Erector spinae
  • Oblique muscles (internal and external)
  • Spinal rotators
  • Tibialis anterior
  • Adductor muscles along the inner thighs
  • Teres minor and major (under the arm and on the scapula)

Physical : Parsva Kakasana strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, abdominal muscles, and spine. It stretches the upper back and groins, while improving flexibility throughout the spine and lower back. Twisting your torso also massages the abdominal organs, which improves digestion and detoxification.
Mental : This pose increases body awareness, self-confidence, and physical coordination. The strong mental focus required to practice Parsva Kakasana improves the ability to concentrate in everyday life. Learning how to stay calm and clear-headed while having to balance builds poise and grace, increasing your ability to handle life’s difficulties with ease.
Spiritual : Activates the Visuddha, Anahata and Svadisthana chakras
Precautions & Contraindication: Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic wrist, shoulder, or back injury, or if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Women who are pregnant should also avoid this pose.
Counter Pose : Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) ; Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Pei Gy (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)

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