Crane Pose: (Bakasana)

Name: Crane Pose

Sanskrit: Bakasana

Pronunciation: bah-KAH-suh-nuh

Pose Level: Intermediate Level balancing yoga pose

crane pose

Anatomy Involved:

Crane symbolizes youth, longevity, and happiness, especially in Asia. Crane pose, known as bakasana, strengthens the forearms, wrist, and pelvis. It is an arm balancing pose performed by stretching the upper back, which helps in developing said balance. It helps strengthen the core muscles of the body.


  • Improve body postures.
  • Stretch buttlocks.
  • Stretch the front of the thigh, and palm side of the wrist.
  • Strengthen the upper back, back of thighs, shoulders, forearms, arms, and abdominal muscles.
  • Opens hips and back muscles.
  • Improves body balance and coordination.
  • Improve focus and concentration.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Begin with a squatting position on the mat, both feet together and knees apart. If this bothers your knees, use a block for sitting;
  • Place your hands down, about 6-8 inches away from your feet. The shoulders should be at the same distance. Widen your hands if you feel stiffness in the shoulders;
  • For most of us, the heels will be off the floor; just let them hang, do not contract;
  • Then, bend toward your feet and lift your hips upward;
  • Bring the knees toward the upper arms;
  • Then, spread your thighs apart wider than your torso;
  • Tilt your torso forward, fitting the shoulders in-between your knees;
  • On exhalation, gently place your palms shoulder-width apart on the mat, spreading your fingers in front of your feet;
  • Bending your elbows, slowly descend forward toward the balls of your feet;
  • Your knees should be close to the armpits;
  • Take a deep breath, lean forward, placing your body weight on the arms;
  • Raise your hips gently as much as possible, touching your feet to your elbow;
  • Try to straighten your arms, keeping the balance of your body on them evenly;
  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds;
  • When releasing, gently lower your hips, place your feet on the ground and sit back to relax.

Pose Modifications:

For example, could the yogi use a supportive pillow or blanket? Is there another variation of the maneuver?

Some of us face difficulty in performing Crane pose. For those, the following modifications are beneficiary.

Putting all the weight on the arms may cause pain in the wrist. In such cases, instead of spreading the fingers, curl them, which will help relieve some pressure.

You may also place a yoga block or other supportive device under the shins or feet to help hold the pose.

Related Article: Improve & Complete Your Yoga Routine: The Essential Yoga Props


Avoid performing Bakasana if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Serious injury to the hips, knees, elbow, abdomen, wrist, or shoulder.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Spondylitis.
  • Menstrual cycle.
  • High blood pressure.

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:

Crane pose can be used to prepare for Adho-Mukha Shvanasana and Phalakasana.

Poses Commonly Transitioned From:

Navasana, Dandasana, and Malasana are different preparatory poses that help to perform Bakasana.