So What's the Difference Between Crow and Crane?


“...and from yogi squat, prepare for bakasana.”

Right…which one is that again? The bronzed, sweaty, Lululemon-clad yogi on your left bends her elbows to turn her upper arms into shelves for her shins, and oh! She’s off! She’s flying! The yogi on your right has parked his knees on the outside of his crazy-straight arms.

Below is a breakdown of their differences and similarities.

So...which one is it? Bakasana is crane pose and kakasana is crow—two different asanas that look awfully similar. So much so that even experienced yogis get them mixed up. Below is a breakdown of their differences and similarities. 

Bakasana (crane pose) requires your knees to be tucked, wedged high up into the underarms. The arms are straight. The core is hella engaged; your hips are lifted as high as possible, and there is a slight rounding in the back.

Kakasana (crow pose) does not require the knee-into-underarm tuck. The arms are bent in a 90-degree angle (think chaturanga arms); the shins rest on the “shelf” of your upper arms (triceps). Engage the core (especially the lower belly!) to prepare for flight.

So now you know—it’s not in the feet, it’s not in the gaze-point, and it’s not in the hand placement. It’s all in the arms—straight in bakasana, bent in kakasana.

About the Teacher

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Coral Lee
Coral Lee is an Editorial/Content Assistant Intern for Yoga International, a 200-RYT instructor, and... Read more