The Parsva Bakasana or Side Crane Pose is a great pose for helping to maintain proper balance and improving overall strength. This pose is also said to alleviate back pain and can help with strengthening wrists, the abdomen, or forearms. This pose is a great challenge and can be really rewarding when you complete it. In this post I will give you the steps needed to complete the Parsva Bakasana yoga pose.
STEP 1: With your knees, bend them into a half squat with your thighs sitting parallel to the floor. Support your heels on a blanket if they don’t comfortably rest on the floor. With your left elbow take the outside of your right thigh as you help soften your stomach and belly.
STEP 2: Twisting your torso to the right while exhaling, bring your lower left ribs across and toward the right thigh as far as possible.
STEP 3: With the back of your left arm down, slide the outside of your right thigh before you bring the outer part of your armpit as close as you can to the outer thigh. Take your arm and keep it in place and back bend it slightly before drawing your right shoulder back before you twist your torso much more deeply.
STEP 4: Repeat these alternating backbend and twist movements while you exhale each time until you can reach your maximum rotation. Slide your upper left arm toward your right hip several inches before firmly pressing them against your right thigh. While maintaining the pressure take your upper arm and draw it back toward your knee on the right side without allowing the skin to slide. By doing this it will rotate your upper arm flesh outward allowing it to lock in place. When your arm is positioned on your thigh take note of the skin-to-skin contact. As you complete the pose try not to change it as you move throughout the pose.
STEP 5: Next fully squat down with your buttocks sitting just above your heels. With your left palm, place it onto the floor so it sits just outside your right-sided foot. If you find your hand doesn’t easily reach the floor, tip to the right with your torso until your palm can be placed onto the ground flat. With your right outer thigh and your left upper arm, maintain contact and lean to the right even more to place your right hand onto the floor. Keeping your hands shoulder width apart, position it onto an imaginary line which is diagonally drawn away from your right-side foot so it is angled directly in the direction of you heel. With your fingers, set them parallel to one another while keeping most of the weight still on your feet.
STEP 6: With your right thigh and left arm, try to concentrate on maintaining a point of contact between them as you lift your pelvis slowly and shift it across to the right. By doing this you should be aiming to bring your abdominal middle between and above your hands. This may not be the precise balance point but you will be able to find the perfect position. As you are able to get close, you will find that your hands will increase while the weight will decrease on your feet until they easily lift off the floor.
STEP 7: Next you will be able to add the finishing touches to your pose. With your feet keep them together before pressing them out and through their inner edges. Bring your heels up toward your buttocks before exhaling and softening your belly to help with preparing for the twist. Strongly pull your left hip down while lifting both of your feet up. Your left arm may slightly remain bent although try to straighten it out as much as you possibly can without causing your legs to slide down.
STEP 8: Completely straighten your right arm as you lift your right shoulder and twist further with your spine. Lifting your chest ahead, look forward. Breathe naturally and evenly as you hold your pose for 20 seconds before lowering your feet back down and onto the floor while breathing out. Repeat for the same length of time on the other side.