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How to do Crow Pose & 3 Modifications

Crow pose is one of my absolute FAVORITE arm balances ever. It has just the right amount of challenge while still being accessible because it’s so easy to modify.

“Easy” is relative, but I can definitely say that this one has plenty of fun ways to make it your own. Here’s a few of my favorites:

If you have trouble getting your knees high enough on your arms to balance, prop a block under your toes so you can add height. You can still play with balancing in this pose, but without having to struggle to get the “lift.”

Now that you have the height figured out, are you afraid of face-planting? Or maybe you constantly faceplant?! Easy fix: prop a soft foam block on its side. This way you can have no fear of falling forward. Even if you DO fall forward, you’ll know what it feels like to lift from your center and pull your gaze forward.

If all else fails, get creative! Is this technically the traditionally “correct” alignment? Not quite. But listen: it’s sometimes more important to lift your confidence in your ability to balance on your hands then it is to get it exactly “right.”

Remember! Ultimately your goal should be to have fun with this. The moment you stop enjoying your practice is the moment you need to reevaluate why you’re doing it to begin with. Getting frustrated on your way towards a goal is normal, and not loving your practice every day is totally fine! But if you find yourself angry or dreading your mat time, take a step back and remember that this should be an adventure.

Over to you! Where are you on your journey towards Crow? Any a-ha moments you want to share that you learned along the way?

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    Dumpling Love

    February 27, 2017 at 7:13 am

    I LOVE crow pose!! STill working to straighten my arms, but I find it so empowering and invigorating! Cannot wait for the intermediate series!

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    February 27, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Being able to hold crow pose was a goal I made for myself at the start of this month, and right at a point where I’ve started to plateau in my goal I get this in my inbox! The perfect sign to get me up and practising again. I’ll definitely be trying these ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks Erin!

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    February 27, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Crow has been my nemesis but I will conquer it! I need to get over the fear of breaking my neck. Then it’s all smooth sailing….I hope… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Pamela


    February 27, 2017 at 7:59 am

    I had “a-ha!” moment a month ago! When I try crow pose, I use the modification 2 to help me get into position. Most of the time, I flail and struggle like crazy but in this instance, I felt my tail-bone lift, my core engage more and the weight shifted and suddenly I was like”I got it! I understand this!”. It felt great! My form is nowhere near perfect but I’ve definitely taken some major steps to figuring it out ๐Ÿ™‚

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      Erin Motz

      February 27, 2017 at 11:23 am

      YESSS! This is so awesome! Congrats! <3

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    February 27, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Have a question…I ALWAYS bruise like my tricep areas after doing crow..always always always, never fails..but i love this pose…any thoughts..?

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      Erin Motz

      February 27, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Yep– you’re relying on balancing on your arms instead of LIFTING up with your core muscles, so all your weight is dumping down which is definitely going to hurt! Lie on your back and reach your arms up so your palms face “flat” the sky. Then tuck your knees in towards your elbows. So your shape will look like what I’m doing in Crow Pose in the first picture here, but you’re on your back instead. That feeling of “tucking” your legs in towards your arms uses the same muscles you’ll use when you’re right side up. Your abs are doing the most work. Hopefully this visual makes sense!

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    February 27, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Hi Erin! Thanks for the tips, I will try them all to find the right one for me. Love your tips on asanas and your short but sweet videos. You are a great Yogi. Namaste , ?

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    February 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    A-ha moment was when I realised I need to look forward ๐Ÿ™‚

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      Erin Motz

      February 28, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      ah yes that’s a great one! so simple yet so life changing for this pose

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    February 28, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Great tips! Teaching for 20 years, I’ve seen many modifications but I like the block under the feet which I haven’t seen before!

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      Erin Motz

      February 28, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      awesome! thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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    February 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Crow makes me feel like a powerful badass yoga warrior, so I like to do it a lot. One move that a studio had us to during flow classes was jump back into plank from crow, then go immediately into chaturanga. Now that is a challenge!

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    education for all

    March 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm

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  11. 7 Halloween Costumes for Lazy Yogis – Bad Yogi Magazine

    October 20, 2017 at 10:52 am

    […] yoga pants and a black feather boa. If you can pop into crow pose at the drop of a hat, you’ve got your party trick ready to go too. If people don’t get […]

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