So you're ready to dive into the world of arm balances but not quite sure how to begin? Crow pose is a wonderful introduction to arm balancing as you've probably already encountered some of the ideal preparatory poses for crow within your standard yoga practice. Below, I'm going to share some poses to work on if you are total newbie. Ready to fly?
1. Start off with a gentle hip opener such as child's pose. Take your knees out as wide as you'd like, big toes together, and stretch your arms in front, resting your forehead on the mat. Breathe, and bring your attention inwards, becoming fully present in your body.
2. Come on to all fours and stretch out your wrists. Some nice wrist stretches include palms on the ground with fingers pointing towards your knees. Gently take the hips back towards your heels. You can also flip one palm over, and then the other, to get a different stretch.
3. Move through a few cat / cows to warm up your spine. Rounding the back will be especially important in crow pose so focus on drawing your bellybutton in towards your spine and expanding through your shoulder blades to round the back.
4. Come into extended table top by stretching one leg behind and the opposite arm forward. Then take your elbow and knee towards each other as you round the back. Alternate with extending the arm and leg again, and then switch sides after a few rounds. Inhale when you extend, exhale when you crunch in. This will warm up your core which will be essential for finding your balance in crow.
5. Move through a few sun salutations to warm up, with special attention to your chaturanga. Practice drawing your elbows in close to your rib cage in your chaturanga by spinning your outer upper arms in to your center. Firm up your core and squeeze everything in to your midline. In crow pose we are going to want to think chaturanga arms.
6. From three legged dog, practice drawing your knee towards your nose as you round your back. Inhale as you extend, exhale as you crunch in. This will build core strength to help with your balance and further open up your back so you can get your knees higher up your arm in your crow. Repeat several times on both sides.