How to Build a Sequence around Crow Pose

5 min read

Crow is a playful balancing posture, so while a sequence surrounding Crow should warm up specific physical areas in our bodies, it should also address the dedication, focus, and confidence it takes to balance on your hands.

Yoga around this pose must build these assets just as much as the physical build-up towards the peak position.

Internal Preparation

It is great to play with shapes such as Crow Pose, but it’s important to remember that the goal of our practice isn’t to lift into a full shape. It’s more about noticing the strength and stretch as you build up and release from a pose.

This is about learning to identify the emotions we feel when we see a certain shape. Consider this when you are building your sequence around Crow Pose. Arm balancing can bring up frustration and feelings of inadequacy, but it can also bring up feelings like freedom, focus, or playfulness.

The time spent in the moment before entering the pose is more instructive than holding a pose like Crow. The long, challenging Plank Hold or that split second when we find our balance just before lifting our toes… can be themed for a Crow Pose sequence.

Physical Preparation

You need to activate your inner thighs and shoulders in order to build up into Crow. Any sequence in which Crow is the peak pose should include movements that fire up those areas. Also, prepare your spine by encouraging arm strength and forward folds.

This flow can be adapted to any level and will help you build your confidence, focus, and playfulness.

Crow Pose Flow

Play a few rounds in Cat/Cow. Pause in Cat a little bit longer each time to draw your navel in all the way and find out what core strength you have. Pull your knee up into your nose from your last Cat Pose and raise as high as possible while squeezing. Repeat the same motion on the other side.

Come up to Downward Facing Dog, and after a brief hold, tip-toe your toes to the top of your mat to hold Rag Doll. Try to let all your doubts fall out of your head in a puddle, leaving space in your mind for something new.

To hold Plank Pose, swan dive and step backwards while holding Mountain Pose. Rock forwards on your toes, then back to learn how to compress and open your wrists while supporting your weight.

Bring your left toes up as high as possible and draw your navel in. Balance for three breaths.

Step forward with your right foot and then raise your leg to Warrior II. This will ignite your inner leg muscles and courage. Press your front leg outwards to the right in order to open up the hip and strengthen the inner thigh.

Use this to further all those processes. Keep your breathing smooth and seamless while igniting your core to wash away stress and frustration.

After three breaths, find Chair Pose by bending at the knees. You can tell that you’re igniting your inner thighs by leaving a space in between your knees. Decide to remain here for three breaths.

Interlace your hands on your lower back for Peddler’s Posture, dropping your belly to your thighs and stretching out your shoulders by reaching your interlaced hands to the sky. Option to take this pose on your toes for more intensity, squeezing at the ankles (a.k.a Sparrow Pose).

Slowly lower yourself into the Boat. Hold any Boat variant for 30 seconds.

Rock forward, then step backward to Down Dog.

In Down Dog, spend a few breaths preparing for the second side. Then, bring your left knee to your nose, rounding your spine to stand on your right tippy toes.

Balance for three breaths, then step the left foot in for Warrior II or Triangle Pose.

You can come to the Chair Pose briefly at the top of your mat to prepare you for a deep forward fold. Hold for 5-10 deep breaths while lifting your shoulders off your ears and tilting up your tailbone. It would be best if you bent your knees to promote a tighter fold of the pelvic region and spinal lengthening.

Hold the Crow Pose for as long as you feel confident and strong.

Step or shoot back into Chaturanga after a nice juicy hold. Use a deep, long backbend such as Upward Facing Dog or Cobra to open your chest and stretch your frontal plane. Slide back into Down Dog, and lift your leg to One-Legged Dog (or Flip Dog) to open the hips. Use it on both sides, with a Vinyasa optionally in between.

Soft knees, step both feet forward into Rag Doll. Roll slowly up to the Extended Mountain pose. Mountain Pose: Slide your hands towards the heart and gently twist left, then right.

Having fun with sequencing is important. Keep varying it up and begin to entice a deeper hold by building in more strengthening activities as you go!

You can modify your Crow Flow to make it more comfortable for beginners and advanced students.

What sequences do you prefer to use around Crow Pose? Comment below to share your sequences!

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