If you are playing with crow pose, why not add this to your practice?
As always, when I do posts on practical tips for your physical practice, I really like to remind you that you don't have to do crazy postures to be a 'good' yogi. there is not a scrap of proof that you are more enlightened if you can do side crow or not. So please don't stress about it.
Yet it is worth a blog. Mostly because a few of you will be ready for this posture. It has good advantages for your physical body (waist and arms particularly) and it has some wonderful benefits for your mental state too. I find sitting in a balance most relaxing because for the luxury of 5 breaths or so I can only think of breathing and balance. Clearing your head through meditation takes ages to master. Eventually you may be able to clear your mind. However, do side crow and all of a sudden that to do list is way down in your brain and you have a clearer space in your head! Luxury! (Read the safety points first please peeps!)
So that's enough of why.
My tips are in this blog but I would also refer you also to the fantastic Kino Macgregor although ignore the bit about the headstand entry and exit if you are new to all this funny stuff.
Also Neil Keleher demonstrates all the minor details and some different entry means too pretty well so if my way doesn't work for your body- try Neil's video as well.
Prep I- Twist Core strength
Work up your core strength in Navasana with your arms to the side. If you also bend your legs you are in a seated side crow position- awesome
Prep II- Be comfortable in Bakasana
Squeeze your knees into your outer armpits (keep that squeeze!)
Hands onto floor in front of you
Come onto tip toes, straighten your arms and lift your bum
Take your weight out of your toes by easing your head forward
Carefully lift your toes (one after the other is a good prep)
All the time squeezing your knees and your core.
3) Side crow position
Squat with your feet together
Take your hands in prayer to the left of your knees
Place your hands onto the mat perpendicular to your feet
(you're in a squatted twist)
Plant your left knee into your right elbow
Lift up your bum and pitch your face forwards (gently!)
Keep your knees squeezed together and pushed into your armpit
As you lift your bum, and ease your centre of gravity forward by moving your head forward you may be able to lift your toes
Do the other side for symmetry!
Cheat for beginners
Putting your opposite hip on your elbow helps you get up with less core strength
Neil Keleher does this nicely in his video too.
Look after them wrists!
Always end Bakasana or Parsva Bakasana with a little wrist circle because your wrists bear all your weight and are extended. So flex them and give them a break.
Given that you are only 1 ft above the ground you don't need too much fear here. Try to fall to your feet. Your face is pretty close to the ground (see my picture) so sometimes a cheek plant may be yuor fate, so try to look to the side to protect your nose and if you do crumple forward take your knees to the floor promptly to not twist your neck. Do any of these postures sensibly and if you are in doubt leave it out. Check with your GP too.