Side Crane (Crow) Pose
Set up and Key Actions
Begin in a low squat with your feet and legs together, your heels lifted off the floor, and your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Walk your fingertips over to the left, bringing your right upper arm to the outside of your left thigh, coming into a twist. Walk your left hand to the left so that your hands are shoulder-distance apart or just slightly wider, and plant your hands on the floor with your fingers spread evenly apart. Your hands won’t be parallel with the long edge of your mat, they’re more at about a 45-degree angle. Resist your thumbs toward your fingers and your fingers toward your thumbs (like you’re clawing the floor), press into the pads of your fingers and the mounds below your fingers, and press a little more weight into the inner edges of your hands. Start to shift your weight forward, reaching your chest forward as you bend your elbows. Lift your right foot up off of the floor, spreading your toes. Then, see if you can lift your left foot up to meet your right foot, squeezing the inner edges of your feet together. Stay broad through your chest and collarbones, not allowing your shoulders to dip forward.
While eventually you’ll want to support your legs solely on your right upper arm (the one closest to the front edge of your mat), at first you might find it more accessible to rest your left hip on your left upper arm, but take special care that your left shoulder doesn’t drop down. Stay broad through your chest and collarbones.