How To Do Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana)

Side Crow Pose, also known as Parsva Bakasana in sanskrit. In this article, I’ll be guiding you through how to do this arm balance pose. It is not only impressive to look at but also helps strengthen your core and arms while improving your overall balance.

Now, I know what you might be thinking – ‘But isn’t Side Crow Pose really difficult?’Trust me when I say that with some preparation and practice, anyone can master this pose.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi looking for a new challenge. This article will provide tips on how to safely get into the pose and explore advanced variations once you’ve mastered the basics.

So let’s dive in and learn how to take flight with Side Crow!


Step-by-step Instructions

Here are the steps to performParsva Bakasana:

  1. Start in a squatting position with your feet together and your knees wide apart. Place your hands on the mat in front of you, shoulder-width apart, fingers spread wide.
  2. Shift your weight onto your hands and lift your hips up, coming into a squat with your heels lifted off the mat.
  3. Begin to shift your weight onto your hands more, allowing your knees to come closer to your upper arms.
  4. Place your right hand on the mat, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and keep your fingers spread wide for stability.
  5. Lean your weight onto your right hand as you start to shift your body weight towards your right side.
  6. Bend your elbows slightly, and press your right upper arm into the outside of your right knee, creating a firm connection.
  7. As you lean your weight onto your right hand and arm, start to lift your left foot off the ground and bring your left knee towards your left upper arm.
  8. As you feel stable, slowly begin to shift your weight onto your right hand and arm, and lift your right foot off the mat.
  9. Lean your weight forward and start to engage your core muscles, drawing your belly button in towards your spine.
  10. As you find your balance, extend your left leg straight back and try to straighten your arms, keeping your gaze focused on the mat.
  11. Stay in the pose for a few breaths, maintaining your balance and stability.
  12. To come out of the pose, gently lower your feet back to the mat, returning to the squatting position.
  13. Repeat the pose on the opposite side, placing your left hand on the mat and lifting your right foot.


  • Warm up your wrists, arms, and core before attempting starting.
  • Engage your core muscles and press into your hands to lift and support your body.
  • Keep your gaze focused on the mat to help with balance.
  • Start by practicing the pose near a wall or with a spotter for support until you feel more confident and stable.
  • Be patient and give yourself time to build strength and stability in this pose.
  • Practice on an empty stomach to avoid discomfort.
  • Remember to breathe deeply and stay present in the pose.
  • Seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor to ensure proper alignment and safety.

Side Crow Pose (Parsva Bakasana) / Canva

7 Benefits of Side Crow Pose

This posture, is an intermediate arm balancing yoga pose. It offers a range of physical and mental benefits. Here are some of the benefits associated with practicing the pose:

  1. Strengthens the arms and wrists: The asana requires significant arm and wrist strength to support the body’s weight. Regular practice can help strengthen these muscles, improving stability and endurance.
  2. Tones the core muscles: This pose engages the core muscles, including the abdominal and oblique muscles, to maintain balance. Regular practice can help tone and strengthen the core, leading to improved posture and stability.
  3. Enhances balance and coordination: The pose challenges your balance and coordination skills as you balance on your hands while twisting your body. Regular practice can improve your overall sense of balance and body awareness.
  4. Stretches and opens the hips: This pose involves a deep hip rotation, which helps stretch and open the hip joints and the muscles surrounding them. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals who spend a lot of time sitting, as it helps counteract tightness in the hips.
  5. Improves concentration and focus: Balancing poses require concentration and focus to maintain stability. Practicing this pose can help calm the mind, improve mental clarity, and enhance overall concentration skills.
  6. Builds confidence: As you progress in your practice and successfully balance on your hands, you may experience a boost in self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This can extend beyond your yoga practice and positively impact other areas of your life.
  7. Stimulates digestion: The twisting motion involved stimulates the abdominal organs, including the digestive system. It can help improve digestion, relieve bloating, and enhance overall gut health.

Remember to always practice yoga poses under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor, especially when attempting more advanced poses. It’s essential to listen to your body and modify the pose as needed to ensure safety and prevent injury.

Beginner Tips

Before starting, it’s helpful to remember that you’re not trying to lift off like a rocket. Rather gently take flight like a feather in the wind. Start by sitting on your mat with your legs crossed and your hands resting on your knees. Focus on connecting with your breath and releasing any tension in your body.

When you’re ready to begin, place both hands onto the mat. Then walk them forward until you come into a high plank position. From there, bring your right knee towards your right elbow as if coming into a twist. Then, slowly shift your weight onto your left arm while bending both elbows.

Use the strength of your upper body to lift yourself up onto the left elbow as you extend both legs out behind you. Keep breathing deeply as you hold this arm balance for several breaths before lowering back down to the mat.

To prepare your body, try incorporating some poses that will help deepen the twist in your torso. And strengthen the muscles needed for arm balances. Some great options include seated twists such as Ardha Matsyendrasana or Marichyasana III. As well strengthening exercises like Chaturanga Dandasana or Dolphin Pose.

Remember to approach each pose with patience and mindfulness. Allowing yourself time to fully explore each movement before moving on.

Preparing Your Body for Side Crow Pose

Get your body warmed up and ready for this challenging arm balance by incorporating some wrist and core strengthening exercises. Parsva Bakasana requires a lot of strength, stability, and flexibility in the wrists, shoulders, core, and hips.

To prepare your body for this twisting arm balance, start with some wrist circles and hand stretches. And use forearm planks to build up the necessary endurance in your upper body. Next, focus on your core strength by doing some boat pose variations.

Or crunches to engage your abdominal muscles. This will help you maintain a stable base as you lift one leg off the ground and lean forward into the deep twist.

Remember to keep your arms shoulder-width apart and your elbows bent at 90 degrees as you shift your weight forward onto your hands. And be mindful of any contraindications or injuries that may prevent you from attempting advanced arm balances.

With a strong foundation in place from these preparatory exercises. You can now move on to finding your balance in the pose without hesitation or fear.

Side Crow Yoga Pose / Canva

Finding Your Balance in Side Crow

Achieving balance in this challenging arm balance requires steady focus and a strong foundation in your upper body and core. Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you find your balance:

  • Begin in a low squat with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lean forward, placing your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your elbows, bringing them close to your torso.
  • Lift your left foot off the ground as you simultaneously bring your right arm underneath your left thigh.

In this position, you’re essentially balancing on the balls of your feet and one arm. Keep pressing into that bottom hand and engaging through the core to maintain stability.

With practice, you may be able to hold this pose for several breaths before switching sides or moving into advanced variations. Such as eka pada koundinyasana or side crane pose.

Advanced Variations of Side Crane Pose

Once you’ve found your balance in this challenging arm balance, it’s time to explore more advanced variations. Like twisting into a pretzel or lifting both legs off the ground.

To attempt these variations, start by placing your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh and twist your torso to the right. Keep your weight forward and use your upper arms to support yourself as you lift both feet off the ground.

Another advanced variation is to place both hands on the ground. And lift both legs up while keeping them twisted to one side. This requires even more core strength and balance, so be sure to approach it slowly and with caution.

Remember that every body is different, so listen to yours and don’t push beyond what feels safe for you. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to explore new variations while still staying safe in your practice.

Yoga Side Crow Pose / Canva

Precautions & Contraindications for Parsva Bakasana

It’s important to be aware of any precautions and contraindications before starting, also known as Parsva Bakasana. This challenging arm balance requires a lot of strength, flexibility, and balance, so it’s not suitable for everyone.

One precaution to keep in mind is to avoid this pose if you have any wrist or shoulder injuries. Additionally, those with lower back pain should take caution as the pose puts pressure on the spine. Talk to your doctor first!

As you move into the posture, make sure to keep your knees bent and palms flat on the ground with your elbows bent and shoulder-distance apart. Engage your core muscles to support your bodyweight as you lift your outer thigh towards your upper arm.

By following these step-by-step instructions and being mindful of any potential risks involved, you can safely explore this exciting yoga posture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common mistakes to avoid while practicing Side Crow?

Trying to force the pose is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Don’t rush, focus on alignment, engage core muscles and use breath awareness. Practice with patience and trust in your own ability.

How can I modify Side Crow Pose if I have wrist or shoulder pain?

If I have wrist or shoulder pain, I can modify the asana by using blocks or folding a blanket under my wrists. I can also try placing my knees on the ground to reduce pressure. It’s important to listen to my body and not push too far. Ask your doctor for advise.

What are some preparatory poses I can do to improve my balance in Side Crow?

To improve balance, I focus on strengthening my core and arms through plank variations and arm balances like crow pose. Tree pose helps with stability and focus, while eagle arms open the upper back for easier arm placement.

Can Side Crow help with digestion or other health benefits?

Yes, it can aid in digestion by stimulating abdominal organs. It also strengthens the wrists, arms, and core muscles. Regular practice can improve balance and concentration, leading to an overall sense of well-being.

How can I incorporate Side Crow into a flow or sequence?

Incorporating this posture into a flow can be invigorating. Start in downward dog, move to plank, shift weight onto hands and lift feet off ground. Engage core, bend elbows and voila!

How To Do Side Crow / Canva
How To Do Side Crow


Well, there you have it the ins and outs of this asana! I hope that this article has given you a clear understanding of how to practice this challenging but rewarding asana.

Remember to take your time with each step, listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to modify or use props if needed.

As we explore the depths of our yoga practice, we often come up against challenges that test our physical and mental limits. This asana is no exception.

But beyond the physical benefits of building strength and flexibility in the arms, core, and hips, this pose also offers a lesson in perseverance. By facing our fears and pushing past our perceived limitations, we can find greater resilience both on and off the mat.

So, next time you’re on your mat, give this pose a try who knows what kind of breakthroughs await!