3 Types Of Bakasana And Embracing Change
It seems like everyone and their mom (literally) is doing Bakasana, Crane (sometimes Crow) Pose in yoga class. In Vinyasa yoga classes it tends to be THE arm balance that is taught, often being explained as “beginner” or “easy” or “the introduction into advanced balances”.
And, depending on how it’s done, those lovely yoga instructors are exactly right. For a lot of people, Bakasana can be easy.
But here’s the question: Are we missing something? Should Bakasana be an “easy” pose?
In Iyengar yoga, Bakasana is one of the most advanced postures, with only a very select few teachers given permission to guide students into it in public classes.
I was at a yoga workshop with Christina Sell this past weekend and she posed this interesting question:
Why is Bakasana a beginner pose in some forms of yoga but advanced in others?
She went on to answer her question by demonstrating the wide variety of forms that the arm balance can take, showing how the “Crow Pose” that is often easily mastered by beginning students is actually far from what the original pose was intended to be.
When done in the traditional, advanced form Bakasana is strong and compact rather than light and floating like we are so used to seeing.
Here are 3 ways she demonstrates correct forms of Bakasana:
It’s so often said that yoga teaches us so much more than how to be strong and flexible and healthy and I for one definitely agree. In this moment, being told that how I’ve been attempting a certain pose for the past, oh, ten years, isn’t exactly right or at least there’s another way to try it – well, it’s hard to swallow.
We are creatures of habit and when you feel like you have a good habit it’s especially hard to convince yourself to try something new.
But therein lies the beauty of yoga.
Beyond the poses and the chanting and the philosophy lies the simple truth: DON’T BE AFRAID OF CHANGE. It is only through change that we can become worth something. No friction, no fire.
Christina’s whole weekend was themed around the idea of creating alchemy in yoga – developing a strong container, adding heat, and having faith that you can turn something into gold.
So while my Bakasana is now once again a total work in progress, I’m thankful to know that it isn’t the pose I’m after – it’s the fire, the friction, the change that I really want.