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Struggling to balance on your hands?

Hey yogi,

Are you fed up of falling head first on to the floor, hurting your wrists and not being able to practice again for a few days?

This is what used to happen to me when practicing crow pose 4 years ago. Every time I tried crow pose I would fall forward, hurt my wrist and not  be able to practice for a while. And then I would go through the same process again and again.

Until I learnt how to do the pose correctly and how to warm up the body correctly. Yes its that simple. It took me so long because I didn’t have the right teacher but then I found an amazing yoga teacher who helped me with this pose and many more (details below on yogi flight school). So today I want to share with you my best tips that really helped me finally hold crow pose and best of all not hurt myself.

10 things to help you balance on your hands.

  1. Strengthen the fingers – the wrists have such little muscles and actually you are using your fingers more to help balance your body weight which means they need to be strong to keep you up.
  2. Stretch your wrists correctly. You may use your fingers a lot but the wrists are still going to bend, make sure they are warmed up so you do not injure yourself, as soon as you feel a slight twinge, stop and wait a few days before practicing again.
  3. Work your core. You need a nice strong core to be able to hold your legs up nice and tight, this will help you to keep your balance and make the pose look a lot neater. Working on your core also helps take a little pressure off your arms as you can really pull everything upwards including your knees.
  4. Work on your flexibility. You need to get your knees as high as you can onto the backs of your arms before you even attempt to get your feet off the ground. Which means flexibility also plays apart. Work on your forward folds to get your knees high and your cat pose so that you can tuck your body into the right shape.
  5. Find the correct placement. A lot of arm balances is technique rather than strength (obviously strength plays a part). Depending on what arm balance you are doing you need the correct placement to hold it. For crow pose it is making sure that your elbows are stacked above your wrists before you attempt to fly. Stacking the bones will help you stay upright and not fall forward or backwards.
  6. Where is your gaze? Where you look is where you your body ends up going. If you look down, you are going to fall down. Make sure you look forward but try not to tilt your head up. Just use your eyes.
  7. Take it slow. Do not bounce up you will loose control and are more likely to injure yourself. Take one step at a time and do it slowly. Do not move onto the next step until you feel stable in the previous step.
  8. Use props. Blocks are there to help you. My favourite is placing one under my head so that I can’t fall forward. It takes away that fear. A lot of people place them under the feet for a little more height (this never worked for me, but maybe it will for you).
  9. Ask for feedback. Ask a yoga teacher to look at your form or record yourself and look back at it. Sometimes you can tell a lot by watching yourself back, it’s easier to check your form this way. Ps If you want me to check out your crow pose feel free to post it in our facebook group with the hashtag #checkmycrow
  10. Practice practice practice. You should be practicing every day if you want to get this pose. It doesn’t mean you have to practice for an hour a day. Just do 5 minutes of hand and core warmups and then practice your crow. There are quite a few things to work on here and a lot to think about when you attempt crow but practice makes perfect and one day everything will just click into place.

I hope this was helpful if you would like to practice crow pose with me then check out this crow pose video here from YouTube.

Happy practising, stay safe and go nail that pose. 

Ps. If you want to gain a little more flexibility on your forward fold then check out our free 5 day challenge below. These 10 minute videos will really help you to get closer to your toes.

Leah

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