SIDE CROW

(PARSVA BAKASANA)

How To Perform

• Bend your knees to a half-squat, thighs parallel to the floor. If your heels don’t rest comfortably on the floor, support them on a thickly folded blanket. Take your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh as you soften your belly.

• Exhaling, twist your torso to the right, bringing your left lower ribs across toward your right thigh as far as you can.

• With several exhalations, twist more deeply by bringing the right shoulder backwards and slide the left armpit as close to the thigh as possible.

• Bend the knees the rest of the way to a full squat and bring the left palm to floor, tipping towards the floor if necessary to reach with your hand. Bring the right hand to the floor at shoulder width apart with the fingers spread wide. The fingers will be facing away from your body at this point.

• Maintaining contact of the left upper arm to the right thigh, lift the pelvis slightly and begin the transfer of weight to the hands.

• One variation of the pose is to then place the right hip on the right elbow making a shelf with the femur bone. A different variation is to keep the right hip ‘floating’… bone structure, body type and strength will determine which variation is easiest for you.

• As the weight transfers to the hands, press the bottom foot (the right one following these instructions) against the top foot to create stability and lift the feet from the floor.

Actions in the pose

• Keep the bottom foot pressing against the top foot.

• Squeeze inner legs together.

• Grip the fngertips to the foor to manage balance.

• Actively twist the abdomen and chest towards the foor.

Benefits

• Strengthens arms and wrists.

• Increases focus through balance.

• Twisting the spine releases tension and tones the abdominal muscles.

Modifications

• Place a bolster or block by your side and lower the head softly onto it while building the strength to lift your feet.

Contraindications

• Those with wrist, shoulder or back injuries should avoid this pose.

• Avoid when pregnant or menstruating.