It's an interesting coincidence that in Filipino, "baka" means maybe while "sana" means I hope. It seems to translate loosely to a little self-doubt, "Maybe, I hope", which was a similar self-doubt that I felt when my yoga teacher demonstrated the pose in class. It certainly looked like it required a lot of strength and focus. What I didn't anticipate was that Bakasana also requires the ability to trust yourself.
Favorably, I have found out in my yoga-beginner experience that it is not a maybe; it is a definite yes and that there is hope for everybody and every body. There is, in fact, an enormous amount of it inside all of us waiting to be drawn in to our center as we push ourselves up with it.
Bakasana बकासन (crane pose) is often used interchangeably with Kakasana (crow pose). In Sanskrit, "baka" means crane, "kak" means crow, and asana (आसन) means posture or seat. The pose is a yoga foundation; one of the first arm balances beginners like me learn.
Any yoga pose has its own purpose in the practice and its own target muscle/s or part of the body to strengthen. What I love about learning Bakasana and yoga in general is that the strength it gives you goes beyond the physical.
I am grateful that Bakasana has taught me to:
Crow pose, as one of my favorite teachers said, is an asana that either you get the first time or it will take you some time to figure it out. Nevertheless, everyone will have to put in a good amount of patience in themselves and in their progress in order to hold the pose.
Listen to your body
Your body will tell you when it is ready to lift off from the ground; when it is ready to balance your entire weight on your arms. You just need to pay close attention.
Listen to your teacher
Whether you're following a teacher at a studio or online, listen carefully to their instructions. The little movements that they tell you to do can make a big difference: draw your navel up towards the spine, press up from your knuckles and palm, gaze forward, draw the shoulders away from the ears, and breathe.
There is no shame in putting a blanket or a pillow in front of you while you're learning the pose. I did. The fear of falling on your face and breaking your nose is real. LOL Eventually, I learned that it is okay to fall, and fall I did. I learned not to give up when I did. And finally, I will learn to trust myself completely. I am getting there.
They all seem to come together. You will notice in my short video below that in the beginning I wasn't patient enough and I didn't pay enough attention to my body. And it was harder to trust myself that I could do it. Like anything worth achieving, it is a process. It is the process itself that's the reward. When you're wobbly at the beginning, and strong in the end...
My Bakasana Journey
Enjoy the short video on my Bakasana journey inspired by a quote by Vanda Scaravelli.
The light in me honors the light in you, my dear friends. Stay healthy.