how to side crow

Side Crow, aka Parsva Bakasana, might be the closest you get to breakdancing. Whistler ambassador, Julia McCabe outlines two ways to get into the pose.

Side crow can be performed on it's own or as a transition into eka pada koundinyasana. It's also taught by teachers using either both arms or one arm as the balance point.

side crow option 1

1. Begin in a squat position with your knees and shins together.

2. Keep your knees pointing forward and rotate your torso to the right.

3. Set your palms firmly on the ground shoulder width, about a foot in front of you.

4. Anchor into your palms, lift your hips up, draw your core in and begin to transition the balance of your body: left elbow into your right knee and right elbow towards right waist and ribs.

5. Think "nose toward the ground, butt to the ceiling" in order to lift your feet off the ground.

6. Look forward slightly and lean forward balancing your torso on your arms like a little shelf.

7. Keep hugging your shins in as they can splay apart, and either stay here with bent knees or begin to press both heels toward the side wall.

8. Think Chaturanga arms, drawing shoulder blades onto your upper back and lift up into your core.

Repeat on the left side!

sidecrow option 2

For option 2, repeat the above, but when you set your palms, instead set your left elbow into your right knee and right palm at a slight diagonal and away from your waist.

1. The lift of your hips up is key when you transition to balance primarily on your left arm, versus collapsing forward.

2. Lift your torso up then forward and down, balancing between the line of both arms, your right arm will be free in space, allow both elbows to bend

3. To transition to eka pada koundinyasana, press both heels toward the side wall extending both legs.

4. Keep your bottom leg where it's at and begin to push your top heel toward the ceiling, flexing both feet.

5. Think of kicking up to the ceiling with your top leg instead of just to the back of the room (nose to the ground, heel to the ceiling).

6. Stay active through your legs and feet. This is key in order to balance.

Enjoy this party trick for 5-10 breaths

Exit by either jumping back to Down Dog or rest in Child's pose.

Watch Julia get into both side crow variations:

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I’m so happy to see my teacher Julia appeared here on my computer screen! This definitely brighten up my day in cloudy hazy Beijing!

* Well, Julia is now obviously in Whistler but I used to take her classes when she was residing in Hong Kong. And I remember we students took photos, screaming her name instead of cheese on her last few days before she made her way back to Canada. Thank you for the guidance, Julia McCabe! Rawk on!!

Comment by Wan — May 15, 2012 @ 3:10 am

Wow, I can’t wait to be strong and balanced enough to finally be able to pull off this pose!

Comment by Sara Hamil @ They Call It Gumption — May 15, 2012 @ 8:44 am

Thanks for posting this, this is awesome!! And just a tad harder than it actually looks!! haha Totally practicing this one now.

Comment by Jenaé (@YogaEatRun) — May 15, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

I love doing side crow…cannot wait to try the second variation you show here!!!

Comment by FancyMom — May 15, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

Something to strive towards !The directions are good and helped me understand the pose better.Thanks

Comment by Marian — May 17, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

That chic is so hot!

Comment by Kj — May 18, 2012 @ 5:00 am

Love to do side crows – and i love love love your products in here. I have a dansih website and i want to link to your side. Can we purchase your products from Denmark? Or do you not ship outside the US, Canada & Australia? You could have many customers in Denmark…

Kind regards
Heidi Ankersen

Comment by Ibby — May 25, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

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