Preparation for Bakasana aka Crow pose

I've lost count of the amount of times someone has come up to me after class and said something along the lines of "I just want to be able to do Crow pose! You know, I don't need to be a super yogi or anything, I just want to do Crow!" Maybe the sneaky crow doesn't seem quite so illusive as some of the other arm balances, but you can be sure that the crow will ignite some degree of fear "what if I fall on my face!"  

So lets start to enjoy the journey and enjoy the ride whether you fly or float you can guarantee that you will feel stronger and more connected with this preparation work.

Make sure you look after the wrists and give them some regular love once you start spending more time on your hands.  Wrist mobility will vary widely so don't push the wrists, always respect your boundaries and learn to work with what you've got.

Get that core fired up, drawing the naval towards the spine and move with your breath from boat pose to what I call 'sleeping crow' curling into a tiny little ball and pressing the hands up to the ceiling, as you inhale extend legs back out to hover (if your lower back is ok) repeat 6 times with your breath.

From table top curl inwards as you exhale drawing knee to elbow staying smooth and connected thought the motion. Then take it up to Downward facing dog with tiger curls. If you have the mobility in  your wrists, start to take the shoulders beyond the wrists gripping with the finger tips to balance.

Open shoulders and upper back with eagle pose, bowing forward over the legs after 5 breaths.  Learn to soften the groins with Marichyasana 1.

Now you are ready to set yourself up for Crow, start in a squat with hands shoulder width apart, bend the elbows and hug the arms in towards each other, start to take your weight forward and draw in to your core.  Push the floor away just like you did in sleeping crow, maybe tuck one foot up towards your buttocks at a time. Remember to get grippy with your fingertips, these are your handbrakes (ha ha ha)  Make sure you have fun, if you are really worried about face planting then pop some cushions out in front of you to take that fear away!