How to transition from Malasana Pose to Crow Pose

3 min read

The crow pose will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first (personally) challenging pose that I had. I owe a debt of gratitude to one of my first teachers, who gave me the simple Crow cue that helped me fly.

There are many other ways to transition from Malasana into Crow, but I will share some tips on how to do it using this transformational cue.

Prepare Your Nest

When you’re new to Crow, the fear of a crash-landing can be quite daunting. This is a great reason to buy a large bolster, my favorite prop. You can also use blankets, pillows, and a towel rolled up.

Before you enter Malasana, place the bolster/pillow in front of your body. If you fall forward, you will have a softer landing. You can remove the bolster as your Crow becomes more confident.

Get Centered with Malasana

Start by standing with your legs a little wider than the width of your hips. Turn your heels inward and your toes outward. Draw your hands in a prayer around the heart. Your elbows should be about the same height as your hands when you press your palms together. Inhale deeply.

Allow your bottom to sink towards the ground on your exhale slowly. This is not the dance floor, so we’re not going to drop it like it’s a hot item. Be mindful to move slowly, with intention, and be aware that your feet are grounded and you’re not putting stress on your ankles. Feel connected as you bring your elbows up to the insides of your knees.

The eye gaze should be forward. Breathe. In Malasana, be aware of your spine’s natural curves. Avoid hunching shoulders or rounding your back. Consider using the below block option if your back is rounding.

Options: If you want to give your hips a little more support, place a block under the bottom (lower, medium, or higher setting). A folded blanket can be placed under your heels.

As You Prepare to Fly, Keep Your Knees High!

Now is the time to fly. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the mat with your fingers spread. As you shift forward, press evenly across the palms of your hands. As you move your weight forward, your heels will lift off the ground.

My teacher gave me a tip one night in class, and it made all the difference: raise your knees. As you’re still standing on your toes, lift your knees until they are almost at the level of your armpits. Then, press down on that spot on both sides. This is your sweet spot.

If I see students struggling to do Crow, their elbows may be closer to their knees. Take your knees and lift them off the floor. Now you’re completely balanced in Crow.

Enjoy the Ride

Draw in your stomach just below your navel to activate the pelvic floor. All balance poses require an engaged core. It would be best if you kept your eyes down and slightly in front without straining the back of your neck. Breathe.

You should also feel the entire pose.

Hold this pose for 3 to 5 breaths. You can either return to Malasana or move on to your next pose when you are ready to come back to Earth.

These two poses are challenging because they require our complete attention. As we focus on our body and our breath, the chattering of our mind (citta) will start to quieten.

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