Bakasana, this week’s favourite pose, chosen by Steven McDonald. Steve is one of those people a yoga teacher loves to have in class. His focus and presence in every single pose is awe-inspiring. Not surprisingly with the discipline of practicing Karate for many years previous. His expertise in this beautiful martial art shines through in his graceful yoga practice.
I love watching Steven do this postures especially how he jumps back to chataranga with grace and ease. Check him out on you tube!
Here’s what Steve has to say about his favourite yoga posture: “Having only been studying yoga for a short time, many of the poses Is only just beginning to make sense to me, let alone my being able to perform them with confidence. However, I feel like I learn something new in every class, and my favourite lesson learned must have been when performing Bakasana- the crow, or crane, pose. Bakasana challenges unexpected parts of the body, like the abdominal muscles, and of course it can be hard on the arms. The most important thing I learned from trying to perform this posture is finding the sense of freedom when the balance, breathing and body alignment are just right, so that the arm strength required fades into the background, and it feels *nearly* effortless. To break it down into steps, I first make sure that my legs are well tucked-in towards my body with good abdominal contraction, and that my knees rest high enough on my upper arms so that the weight is distributed more to the front. By doing this, it makes it much easier to roll the body forward and hit that point of balance on the forearms. Sinead always reminds us to squeeze the legs towards each other and to look forward while lifting chest. I find this most helpful to holding the pose for longer.
For me, Bakasana really brought home the idea of achieving the perfect physical and mental equilibrium in a posture, and i’m now trying to look for that same feeling in every other pose during practice.”
In class I often lead Bakasana from Ukatanasana (Chair Pose). As the stomach is already being strengthened and toned in this posture I find it is a good preparation for Bakasana. Bakasana is also a nice relief on the legs after the power it takes on the thighs and gluteus to hold a strong and stable Ukatanasana.
Benefits of Bakasan included:
- Strengthens the Arms and Wrists
- Strengthens the upper back
- Tones the abdominal muscles
- Opens the groins