By themselves, crow (kakasana) and crane (bakasana) aren't all that exciting. They're good for wrist strengthening and concentration, but the best thing about these poses is that they teach you where your center of mass is.
Read the full transcript »

This is Patrick from Yoga Garden and on the screen, well that's me. Today we are talking about finding our center with two poses that are actually kind of the same pose, Crow and Crane. Before we go into details, first look at the basic technique of this pose. From a wide squat, place your hands on the floor, spreading the fingers, giving yourself a nice stable balance. Place the elbows onto the sides of the knee and you feel like the elbows have a good grip on the knee, take your body weight forward. You can see there is no technique involves, there is just a moving of weight and come to balance on the hands. That's it. That's a pretty easy pose technically speaking, especially this version there is not much muscle power happening. The bones of the forearms that should going the whole body load. Keep your breath smooth, keep your back and the neck relaxed and face relaxed. And when you are feeling keep that enough, slowly take away back, returning to the squat, giving your fingers and wrist need a good stretch. What I like about these poses is that they have a lot more going on that meets the eye, especially involving center of mass. But, what is the Center of Mass. Here is a weird triangle, the Center of Mass is that circle in the middle. There is dude on a horse, their combined center of masses are right at the cross. This is the center of mass of the tank, you get the idea. Here are some equations about the center of mass. Getting this crazy as this is so complicated. How about something simple, how about a ruler? Throw a ruler in the air, you can see it's spinning right around the center. Objects spin around their center of the mass. So, you can tell the center of mass in this ruler is right in the middle and that's obvious it is symmetrical. But, here is an asymmetrical object the hammer. Let's throw this thing. You can see that as the hammer rotates, it spins somewhere closer to the head and the handle. So, the center of mass for this object is somewhere near the head, around neck. This is all great for a hardware, but how about people. Well, most people tend to overestimate how high their center of mass is. They put it somewhere around here. What, they are forgetting is that the lungs are just air, they don't weigh anything. The center of mass is actually much lower, somewhere below the belly button. You have to find your own center of mass for yourself. No one can tell you where it is and one of the best ways to find it is with these arm balance poses. So, let's look at another variation, the Crow pose. This time I am placing my elbows in front of my knees. This is going to make the whole pose taller and subsequently a little bit more challenging because the center of mass is higher and therefore you are easily tipped forward, backwards or to the sides. Everything else remains the same. The fingers are wide. You can actually use your fingers to make small adjustments. Basically speaking this isn't too tough. The bones and the forearms are still holding most of the body weight. You can see this is the key point for these poses. The center of my mass is directly above my arms. This isn't a coincidence. If it wasn't there, I couldn't keep the pose. I would fall forward or backward and in fact, it is through falling now we have learned where our center really is. So, if you do fall don't worry about it, it's actually part of the learning process. Let's move in to the next variation of this pose, Crane. In this version the knees are stabilized in the hollow of the arm pit. This dramatically changes the dynamic of the pose. The former version, where we essentially balancing on our bones, but in this version you have to use the whole arm structure to keep yourself in the pose. In addition to being much more taxing physically, the balance is also trickier because the center of mass is getting successively higher with each version. Keep breathing and don't panic. When you are really come down, then give yourself a nice break

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement