“(The Yogi) sees himself in the heart of all beings, and all beings in his heart” Bhagavad Gita
This asana mimics the posture of a cawing crow or crane with the body’s weight supported on the upper arms and hands and the head thrust well forward. This is one of the most beneficial balancing poses. It brings strength to the wrists, arms, and shoulders, tones the core, improves your concentration, and increases your breathing capacity by expanding the chest. If you are comfortable with Sirsasana (headstand) you can try this fun variation of moving from Bakasana into Sirsasana II.
Getting into the pose
1. Bend down into Malasana (squat), and place the hands in front of the feet shoulder width apart. Make sure to place your hands far enough in front of your shoulder. Bend your elbows and bring your knees to rest on the backs of the arms as close to the armpits as you can get them.
2. Choose a point on the floor in front of you to focus your gaze. Inhale and begin to lean your weight forward into your hands taking the sternum(heart) forward coming onto your tiptoes. Make the feet light and raise them toward your bottom. You can also practice taking the feet up one at a time. Balance, breathing evenly, for 10 to 15 seconds.
Tips: Keep the feet lifted. Do not let the legs slip down, but compress them toward the bottom. Lift the shoulders strongly, and pull the trapezius muscles and shoulder blades toward the waist. Simultaneously stretch the upper arms up.
3. If coming out from here, on an exhalation bend the elbows to the sides and come down.
Bakasana to Sirsasana II Variation
1. From Bakasana begin to bend the elbows making them more into a shelf for your knees, tuck your chin towards your chest and lower onto the crown of the head. Make sure to be more on the front of the head, closer to the forehead to keep proper alignment in the neck. Take your hips above your shoulders. (you may practice here for a while, working on pressing back up into Bakasana).
2. To bring the knees up, press firmly into the ground with your hands pulling the hips back and the belly in. Slowly raising the knees up to a right angle. Pause, balance and breathe here.
3. Continue pressing down into the hands and crown of the head. Press out through the soles of the feet and squeeze the legs together as you slowly raise the legs straight up. (as you can see I am leaning a little forward in my Sirsasana II, ideally you want to be completely straight. Still a work in progress).
Tips: Focus practicing with rhythm. The posture should be done with grace and control of movement. Harmonize movements with the breath and make them smooth. Distribute effort evenly throughout the body.
To come out of this pose
1. You and begin to take the hips back pulling the belly in and slowly lower the legs down straight to the ground resting in childs pose.
alternatively you can press back up into Bakasana: Bend the legs slowly toward the abdomen. Exhale and bring the shins onto the upper arms. Keep the feet lifted. Balance for a moment. Inhale, raise the head and shoulders, keeping the legs pulling up. Bend the elbows and slowly lower onto the feet, come into childs pose.
Remember to be AWESOME at anything all you need to do is PRACTICE.
Practice is having steady discipline. I love this reading from, Courage and Contentment, A Collection of Talks on Spiritual Life by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. “Once you become anchored in steady discipline, you will breathe freely, You will breathe ecstatically. You will feel you are walking on a magic carpet. Your whole life will be filled with miracles of transformation. Your life itself will be a miracle of transformation. You will experience, “My life is blessed. My life is blessed. My life is blessed.” You will be steeped in divine contentment. You will experience courage and contentment wherever you go – in your office, in your kitchen, when you play with your children, when you talk to your friends, and when you observe silence. Truly, steady discipline is a precious gift.”
Now who doesn’t want that! Give yourself the gift of a steady disciplined practice.