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Benefits of Bakasana ( Crane Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction 

Health is wealth and all of us deserves the right to good health. Health is a positive concept that not only means freedom from diseases but also includes the feeling of well-being. Keeping this in mind, yoga has been introduced at the school level to teach healthy habits and a sustainable lifestyle from a young age.1 

bakasana

Yoga has its primary establishments in India. It is a form of science accepted worldwide, including the western countries. Yoga aims at developing strength, endurance and stamina at a physical level and empowers concentration and mindfulness at the mental level.1 

Yoga teaches several asanas or postures. Here, we bring one such asana called Bakasana. Let’s read more about the Bakasana benefits, techniques and much more. 

What is Bakasana? 

Bakasana comes from a Sanskrit word in which ‘Baka’ means ‘crane’ whereas ‘asana’ means pose or posture. The final position of this asana replicates a crane; hence, it is called the crane pose. Bakasana, or the crane pose yoga, is an arm balancing pose as it exerts more pressure on the arms and wrist. Bakasana benefits may release negative emotions like stress, anxiety and depression out of the body. It may create a sense of awareness in the body to maintain stability and focus.1–3 

Bakasana variations may include Parsva Bakasana pose. In this asana, ‘Parsva’ means side and Bakasana means crane pose. Hence, also called the side crane pose. Parsva Bakasana yoga is classified as an intermediate level of yoga and it involves twisting and balancing on the arm. It is similar to the Bakasana pose as both arms are in front but unlike crane pose, both legs are extended on one side.3 

How to do it? 

Bakasana is classified as an intermediate arm balance yoga pose. You may practice Padmasana (cross-legged sitting pose) as one of the Bakasana preparatory poses.2,3 Bakasana steps are listed below: 

  • Start with squatting on the floor. 
  • Lay the hands flat on the ground with your fingers spread open, pointing outward in front of your feet. Keep your elbows slightly bent. 
  • Slowly press your arms and using your core abdominal muscles, raise your feet above the ground, keeping the knees bent. Do not exert excess pressure on the elbow while lifting the feet. 
  • Gradually lean forward, and adjust the knees to touch the upper arms near the armpits. 
  • You are now supporting your entire body weight on both hands. Therefore, do not make haste in balancing your body.  
  • Look to the front and focus on a point and maintain steady breathing. This makes the final crane pose. 
  • Maintain this crane pose for five to ten seconds or more, depending on your comfort. 
  • To release the pose, exhale while slowly lowering the legs on the floor, and return to the squat position.1–3 

Are you an active sportsperson? Maintain your spine flexibility and core strength by practising yoga asanas. Yoga asana like Bakasana (crane position) aids in improving core muscle strength along with upper body strength. When practised with Ushtrasana, Bakasana might help in building spine flexibility, body strength, balance, and awareness.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Do You Know? 

Here is an exciting trivia about Bakasana: 

  • On 14 June 2019, Kaushalya Devi from Himachal Pradesh performed Bakasana yoga (Crane pose) for four minutes and twenty-five seconds and made the World Record for ‘longest performance of Bakasana yoga’.4 
  • Bakasana may be a complete asana as it may simultaneously stimulate various chakras like the solar plexus, crown, throat, third eye and root chakra.5 Chakras refers to the wheel of energy. These chakras may be the gateways through which the life energies pass, allowing the body and the mind to heal. 

Moving too fast while practising yoga asanas like Bakasana might lead to injury. As Bakasana focuses more on muscular strength and endurance, practise the yoga asana in a more gentle and controlled manner.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Benefits of Bakasana:  

Some of the potential benefits of the Bakasana are described below:  

1. Benefits of Bakasana for Flexibility 

Stretching the body to become mobile and flexible might offer several physical benefits, such as improving body posture, reducing bodily pain and soreness, etc. Such flexibility exercises may allow deeper movements in the joints and muscles. Bakasana yoga might help you attain flexibility in your body. Combining crane pose with other flexibility exercises might reduce muscle stiffness. It might also increase the flexibility of the ankles, hips and knees.2 

2. Benefits of Bakasana for Depression 

Depression may affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. Research has found that various environmental and psychological factors may lead to depression. The regular practice of Bakasana yoga might help overcome depression. In the Bakasana pose, you carry yourself above the ground, which might increase your blood pressure and boost your physical balance. Bakasana might be a suggestive solution for depression.2 

3. Benefits of Bakasana for Balance and Concentration 

Balance and coordination are the two main factors that help control body movement. Bakasana might help increase a sense of balance in the body, which might positively stimulate the functions of the nervous system. Bakasana yoga may also enhance concentration allowing you to focus more.1,2 

4. Other Benefits of Bakasana 

  • The crane pose might relieve stomach problems by enhancing the efficiency of the stomach and the intestines.2 
  • Bakasana pose may stretch the pelvis to strengthen the pelvic floor.2 
  • The crane pose yoga may help to tone the abdominal muscles as these muscles are involved in lifting the feet.1  
  • While performing Bakasana, putting pressure on the hand, shoulders and chest might increase blood supply in these regions.1 
  • Bakasana may increase the strength of the arms, wrists, shoulders and chest muscles.1 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, you should not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your situation correctly and advise accordingly. Furthermore, it is essential to practice yoga under the supervision of a professional trainer to avoid injuries.  

Risks of Exercise 

Bakasana requires maintaining stability and hand-to-body coordination. Unfortunately, one wrong movement may lead to injury. While performing the Bakasana pose, watch out for the following risks: 

  • People with high blood pressure must avoid Bakasana; it might worsen hypertension. 
  • People with heart diseases should not practise crane pose as it might worsen the condition. 
  • People having thrombosis (blood clot in the brain), which might lead to haemorrhage, must avoid doing this pose or consult a qualified doctor to avoid injury. 
  • Bakasana puts a lot of pressure on the wrist and knees; therefore, people already dealing with wrist or knee pain must avoid this pose. 
  • Women during pregnancy or menstruation must not perform the crane pose as it exerts pressure on the abdominal region.1,2 

With the guidance of a trained yoga master, you can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practise Bakasana with precautions.  

Conclusion 

Bakasana yoga is an intermediate level arm-balancing yoga pose. Bakasana is also referred to as crane pose yoga. It might help attain flexibility of the legs, ankles and hips. It might also increase the sense of balance in the body. As it is classified as an intermediate pose, it requires proper guidance from a trained Yoga teacher to be done without any complications. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

What is the Bakasana yoga pose? 

Bakasana is an intermediate level arm-balancing yoga pose. It combines two Sanskrit words: ‘Baka’ means ‘crane’ and ‘asana’ means pose. While performing the Bakasana pose, the final position appears as a crane; hence, it is called the crane pose.1,3 

What is the duration for which we should do Bakasana pose? 

You may perform Bakasana yoga for five to ten seconds and if you are comfortable, you may hold the pose for one minute.1,2 

What are the contraindications of the Bakasana pose? 

 Some of the contraindications of the Bakasana pose include knee pain, wrist pain, high blood pressure, heart disease, blood clots in the brain, pregnancy and menstruation.1,2 

Which body parts are mainly targeted by the crane pose? 

The crane pose may target the arms, wrists, hips, shoulders, chest and abdominal muscles. 

What are the precautionary tips for performing Bakasana? 

Bakasana yoga is an intermediate pose and might be challenging to perform. Therefore, you should take precautions, such as avoiding excess pressure on the elbow while raising the feet and ensuring proper strength and stability while balancing the body.1,2 

References 

1. Uppal S, Sutar B. Yoga A Healthy Way of Living Secondary Stage. 1st ed. New Delhi: NCERT; 2015. 1–96 p. Available from: https://ncert.nic.in/dess/pdf/tiyhwlss1.pdf 

2. Yogapoint- Guide to Yoga Practices. [Internet]. Yoga Point India; [cited 2022 Sep 6]. Available from: https://www.yogapoint.com/pdf/Yogapoint%20Book%20of%20Practices.pdf 

3. Kaminoff L, Matthews A, Ellis S. Yoga Anatomy. United States of America: United Graphics; 2007. Available from: https://samadhiyogaashram.com/pdf/LeslieKaminoffYogaAnatomyzliborg-200817-225010.pdf 

4. Longest Performance of Bakasana Yoga – Golden Book Of World Records [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 1]. Available from: https://goldenbookofworldrecords.com/archives/9191 

5. What is Bakasana? – Definition from Yogapedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5192/bakasana 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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