Soar like a bird as you move step by step into Parsva Bakasana.

Yoga Journal - - Practice Well -


Tones the side body, es­pe­cially the ab­dom­i­nal obliques; im­proves bal­ance; re­duces asym­me­try in the lower spine; cre­ates a wring­ing ef­fect on the or­gans


Start in Tadasana; lower into a squat. Po­si­tion your knees and feet to­gether and elon­gate your spine. Pivot your torso to an oblique an­gle to your legs. Raise your left arm up­ward, and on an ex­hale, bring your el­bow to the out­side of your right knee as high along your outer leg as pos­si­ble. Set your hands on the floor shoul­der-width apart and in line with each other. Widen your palms, spread your fin­gers, and root down through your hands.

Pitch your weight up­ward onto the balls of your feet and raise your heels off the floor. Hook your left el­bow by wedg­ing your arm firmly against your outer right thigh. This is the crit­i­cal latch—with­out it, your crane can­not fly! Ex­hale deeply a few times: Now comes the mo­ment of truth. The key is to be com­pact enough to clamp your outer right leg with your outer left el­bow. (Note: Even if this is your stop­ping point for to­day with Side Crane, you’re nev­er­the­less cre­at­ing a pow­er­ful com­pres­sive twist on your in­ter­nal or­gans. Stay with it!)

Pre­pare for take­off: Pull your cen­ter of grav­ity up­ward and for­ward, aim­ing for the mid­point be­tween your two thumbs. Start pitch­ing your trunk for­ward over your hands, length­en­ing your spine like the long neck of a heron. Mean­while, strive to keep your up­per arms par­al­lel to each other, and your col­lar­bones par­al­lel to the floor. Don’t let your el­bows splay out­ward—splay­ing al­lows your col­lar­bones to col­lapse and over­bur­dens your outer arms, be­cause you fail to en­gage your sta­bi­liz­ing in­ner arms and in­te­rior chest mus­cles.

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