I am a big fan of arm balance positions like parshva bakasana (side crow or crane) because they really require this unique approach that is known to cultivate yoga.
For example, if there is an oscillation in parshva bakasana, it may not be the posture itself, but perhaps the mind was wandering. not even a little. Take a look at where he went and get him back.
Focus on keeping your breath long and soft and measured throughout your attempt, whether you “love posture” or not.
This is a case of “It’s all about travel.” Achieving posture is not the point (although it’s a lot of fun!) … it’s much more about how you can regulate your breathing and calm your mind in the middle of a challenge. Even one that includes a bit of fear, like in the balance of arms where it’s really possible to plant your face (believe me, I’ve done that a lot).
In this brief sequence I show a small easy setup to enter parshva bakasana with a pashasana warm-up. I’ve found that beginner students often succeed by doing it this way, and more advanced students can try variations from here.
- Use your dristhi (point of view) to calm the chitta vrittis (mental twists) and create inner stillness.
- Give up the need to narrate your experience or judge and evaluate it, as if it were a performance. This is a moment that is all about you and your breathing, gravity, balance and space. No one is watching; everyone else just cares about what they’re doing.
- Upload a block to enter parshva bakasana. And since it’s useful, it’s easy to do.
- Put a pillow in front of your mat so that if you fall forward, it will be there for your beautiful face plant.
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