today's yoga tidbits: crow pose prep, round two

Today’s yoga tidbits: crow pose prep, round two. I’ve posted a previous tidbit for crow pose that you can find under the hashtag #yogatidbits. Today’s bit is about shaping your arm balance by incorporating a few poses that will help you take flight.
In crow, pictured in large square above, the palms are planted and gripping the earth. Knees wrapping and squeezing the outsides of the triceps as high up as possible towards the armpits (I like to call this a crow-wrap!). Entire back-body is domed, belly button hugging in, booty high. Big toes can touch, it helps for starters to encourage leg engagement and wrapping your upper and lifted body in close.
Prep poses:
- Downward dog and plank pose rounds with a cat-back; rounding the back, hugging belly and front ribs in. You can move these in waves with breath.
- Chair pose with a block between the thighs, internally rotating inner thighs, strengthening the backs wide. You can also take sweeping arms up and back with breath, sending your bum back.
- Crow wrap, as stated above. Knees high and wrapped around the triceps (versus resting/balancing on the backs of them). This will help strengthen your legs and core in prep for balancing postures beyond crow pose. Tip-toes stay planted. Practice squeezing your body inward, toward center like you’re a ball. Dome your back and booty. Stay here and squeeze for 5-10 breaths. Let it be shaky if it must. 
See how you can make shapes that build strength without entering the goal pose. It is all connected. I am a big fan of practicing and teaching cat back planks and blocks holds in chair. Simple does not always mean easy. Keep on practicing!

stephanie birch