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Kakasana- Crow posture

Kakasana (‘kak’ means crow) is another one of my favorite poses and is similar to bakasana. These two poses are the foundation of all the arm balance postures. When you get these two, many other arm balances and even handstands start to fall into place. Bakasana and Kakasana are very similar postures, often the names are used interchangeably. The only difference is that the elbows are STRAIGHT in Bakasana and BENT in Kakasana. Check out this article on the differences between kakasana and bakasana.

Few words of caution:

Wrist injuries are very common in Yoga asana practice. While doing the arm balancing poses all our weight is on the wrist which is not used to bear so much weight. Our wrists and the forearms need to learn how to be engaged while doing arm balances to keep the joints injury-free and healthy.

Bones are for support and the muscles are for strength, if we don’t engage the muscles properly then more weight will shift onto the joints resulting in a decreased gap of the synovial joint and pain. Remember do not sink into arm balances always lift up. To do so in the posture work on pressing each finger into the ground which will help you engage the forearms. The tendency of the base of the first finger is to lift up which shifts undue pressure onto one side of the wrist, work on pressing this base.

To find out more details check this article Proper hand placement and alignment for arm balancing.

We recommend you first learn the above-mentioned alignment cues and dynamics by doing these postures which are a bit easier on the wrists.


Steps for Kakasana (Crow pose)

  • Squat on the floor (in malasana) with feet hip-width apart.
  • Place the hands flat on the floor in front of the feet with the fingers facing forward. Keep the fingers wide apart and press them into the ground.
  • Bend the elbows outwards.
  • Rise on your toes lean forward and place the knee in such a way that the inside of the knee touches the outside of the upper arm as near as possible to the armpits.
  • Lean forward lifting your hips up higher further transferring the body weight to the arms and lifting one foot after the other.
  • Bring the feet together. Hold the final position for as long as is comfortable.
  • Slowly lower the feet to the floor and relax.

Note:- Retain the breath in the final position if holding the pose for a short period or if you have just started it, breath retention might help you to engage your core (uddiyana bandha) a bit better, once you are stable in the pose then start breathing deep while keeping the core engaged. As a precautionary measure keep a pillow or some soft cushion in front of you because there can be a tendency to fall on your face.

Benefits for Kakasana (Crow posture)

  • It helps in strengthening the wrists and arms if proper alignment cues are followed.
  • It stretches the upper back and increases the flexibility and elasticity of the spine.
  • It strengthens and tones various muscles and organs in the abdominal region aiding digestion.
  • The sense of balance, concentration, and coordination improve by practicing this posture regularly.


  • Neck problems like spondylitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Cerebral thrombosis

Looking for other arm balancing postures? Check our Arm-balancing library.