Yoga 101: How to Take Off Into Crow Pose

I’m noticing a fun trend with our Yoga 101 series lately. We’ve been leaning toward poses that require courage. And since upping your courage is never a bad thing, let’s keep that trend rolling this month.

There are a few poses that every yogi clearly remembers the first time they nailed them — the first one that comes to mind is Crow Pose or Bakasana. Crow is often seen as the gateway to arm balances, and for good reason. The muscular engagement and alignment of a solid Crow Pose show up in every other arm balance. It’s a milestone worth celebrating and you learn a ton about yourself in the process.

So, for these reasons, this month’s Yoga 101 is all about achieving lift-off into Crow Pose.

Let’s Tackle Crow Pose

Just like last month’s handstand drills video, we’re giving you lots of options so there’s something for everyone to try. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about arm strength. When done properly, Crow is less about your arms and more about your upper back and core. So we’re giving you several tools to help teach you how take flight before moving you into the real deal.

With consistent practice, you’ll find that not only do you get stronger but you’ll also start to feel your courage rising — that’s the best part about playing on your hands.

A quick note on props: If you notice that you’re struggling to keep your elbows from flaring out, make a loop with a yoga strap and place it around your arms just above your elbows. The loop in the strap should be short enough that when you reach your arms forward, your elbows line up directly in front of the center of your shoulders.

Be sure to check out our previous Yoga 101 posts for tips to find your flow in Mountain Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Chaturanga, Sun A, Baby Crow, the Splits and Handstand Prep.

Did you try Crow? How’d you do? —Alison

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


Add a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Lori Rice says:

    Thanks for this! I’ve always wanted to nail this pose. I’m glad to have this step by step to start working more towards it.

  2. Nimalka says:

    Thanks Alison. The prep work and the steps you have demonstrated are absolutely brilliant.
    No one does it like you. You make it all look so easy.

    1. Alison Heilig says:

      Thank you Nimalka! I’m so glad you found it to be helpful 🙂 -Alison

  3. Cathy Pérez says:

    Hey Allison!

    I’m up to over a minute in baby crow thanks to your baby crow video! And while I’m not in “adult” crow yet (yes after almost a year of trying–really try more like 7 years when I first saw crow), I’m stoked to have found this neat video that totally breaks down how to fly crow.

    I even bought a block per your instructions…I just saw the video yesterday or day before so you know I’m committed to nailing this pose once and for all!! ?

    1. Jenn says:

      That’s incredible!!


    2. Alison Heilig says:

      Yes!!!! That’s so awesome! I’m totally rooting for you woman!! —-Alison