Baby Bakasana Where Have You Been All My Life

I have never claimed to know all the yoga poses a class can offer, but if you practice regularly, you practice certain challenge poses over and over again. Bakasana (Crow), Bird of Paradise, Half Hanuman are some regulars for me. This past Saturday though, I was introduced to a new pose named Baby Bakasana, or Baby Crow.

The Saturday class started like any other class, warming up with Sun Salutations and twists. Then we did a sequence I was not familiar with. We went from Down Dog to Dolphin then Knee to Bicep.Now, it’s incredibly hard ab work to get your knee to your bicep in Dolphin pose, but my brain started to put the pieces together. We were going to do some kind of forearm balance today.

My brain started rapid firing poses that we could be going to. What is Pincha? Was it Dolphin Pose to Forearm Balance? I couldn’t stop thinking about what our challenge pose would be. Finally, we finished our Vinyasa sequences and the instructor told use to sit.

Our instructor told us we would be practicing Baby Bakasana. My brain was simply confused. My thought process went something like this:

“Baby Bakasana? Well, Bakasana is Crow Pose, how can Crow be baby? You can’t get any lower to the ground then balancing on your arms.”

Our instructor then demonstrated Baby Bakasana. Here is the step by step guide from

  1. Set up as you would for Crow Pose, coming into a low squat (Malasana), with your knees bent. Come up onto the balls of your feet, bring your big toes together and separate your knees wide apart.
  2. Plant your hands on the mat in front of you, just wider than shoulder distance apart, then bend your elbows and place your forearms down on the mat. Ensure your forearms are parallel to one another and that your elbows aren’t splaying out to the sides.
  3. Lift your hips up slightly and begin to hug your knees around your upper outer arms. Find the action of squeezing your legs in toward the midline of your body.
  4. Shift your weight forward and keep your gaze just ahead of your fingertips. Leading with the heart, begin to round through your upper back and come up onto the tips of your toes.
  5. Experiment with your balance here, picking up one foot and then the other. If it feels appropriate for you, keep squeezing your knees into your upper arms, reach your chest forward, and lift both feet off the ground, drawing your heels toward your buttocks.
  6. Remain in your expression of the pose for up to five full breaths, then gently lower your feet to the ground on an exhale.

After our instructor demonstrated the pose, now it was my turn. My first response was this wasn’t going to end well. Upon reflection, the only reason my brain went to this negative thought was because I didn’t know the pose. I was unfamiliar with the pose, therefore I must not be able to do it. I’m not really into spontaneity.

I quickly changed my mindset to believe in myself and just try the pose. So in my Malasana, I placed my forearms down, exhaled and rolled forward. Like magic, my feet lifted. It was the strangest but most gratifying sensation of rolling forward onto your forearms. The only thing I did wrong was stay in the position too long, and I exhausted myself by doing that.

Lesson I learned from class was to embrace the unexpected, you might just surprise yourself. Baby Bakasana has become my favorite pose of the moment. I still have work to do on the pose, but half the battle is just getting your muscles to remember what the pose feels like. Readers, would love to know what your favorite workouts or yoga poses are?


Scrappy Yogi

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