Bakasana: Fear, Empowerment & Spirit Animals

As one of many first arm balancing postures you’re more likely to come throughout in a contemporary yoga class, Bakasana (also called kakasana) or ‘crow pose’ is the gateway to more difficult asanas, a way of empowerment, and generally a reminder of what it feels prefer to fall flat in your face – actually.
BKS Iyengar’s Light On Yoga exhibits the posture with variations of bent or straight arms, transitioned into through a crouched place or by the more difficult route of sirsasana (headstand). Over the years, the names Bakasana, Kakasana, Crow and Crane have been used and considerably confused, that means there’s discrepancy between the posture’s definitive title. What many academics and practitioners do agree upon nevertheless, is that it requires not simply higher physique and core energy, however an inside voice that claims “yes I can!”.
Names and shapes apart, the place does Bakasana really come from? What was the inspiration behind it, and is there something deeper to achieve from the asana moreover stronger muscular tissues?
Nature & Nurture
Living in India some a number of hundred and even thousand years in the past, days have been spent in nature surrounded by the weather and animals. With many yogic texts displaying an honouring of nature’s cycles, the climate was greater than one thing to speak about – it was a illustration of the gods themselves. Vayu was revered because the god of winds, Ratri as goddess of the night time, Agni as god of fireplace and Indra as god of the storm. Great respect and fascination was attributed to the pure world, and we are able to see this by the preservation of postures named after bushes, mountains, canines, fish, the tortoise, moon and solar.
There’s actually no particular reply as to precisely why some yoga postures are named after animals, parts and bushes, however there are positively loads of theories and indicators that time to our deep and inherent connection to the world round us. Many programs of yoga and Eastern spirituality have adopted a system of perception begins with Ahimsa or ‘non-harming’, a deep honouring of mom earth, seeing animals as equals and crops stuffed with prana or ‘life force’. With such an equality amongst man and beast, human and herb, there’s motive to consider asanas have been named after nature as a strategy to honour, mimic and discover different life kinds.
The Crane &  The Crow
Knees tucked in direction of the armpits, arms doing the job of legs and legs curled again like tail feathers, we see how the physique morphs to symbolize a crane or crow. Throughout Asia, the long-limbed crane is an indication of well being and longevity, and in Japan it’s seen as a mystical or holy creature. Stories inform of the crane dwelling an extended life, and for that reason the hen is linked to everlasting youth and luck, with many travellers carrying a crane feather to guard themselves from exhaustion. Native Americans see the crane as a peacemaker and good luck image, while in Egypt legend has it {that a} two-headed crane flew over the river Nile asserting a brand new age of pleasure and prosperity.
Almost the alternative in look, the small black crow is seen as an indication of demise to some cultures, however in lots of components of the world the crow is among the most distinguished and essential spirit animals. Crows can symbolize transformation and a connection to life’s magic and mysticism, and if a crow is seen in a visualisation, it's stated to symbolize a time of change – the ending of 1 part and the start of one other. The image of a crow can ask us to have a look at our lives with the third eye of instinct, acknowledging what's now not serving us, and letting it go so there’s room for additional progress and private improvement.
In Mesopotamian fantasy, the crow was despatched to hunt out new lands, and in historical Greece and Rome, crows have been even seen as a illustration of Apollo – the god of divination and therapeutic. Hinduism treats the crow as an ancestral image, with choices given on the time of Shraddha, a pageant marking the honouring of ancestors. Perhaps with the best respect for the crow, Buddhist and Tibetan cultures regard crows as an earthly manifestation of Mahakala, the protector and sustainer of righteousness on earth.
Tools for Transformation
Both the crane and crow have a robust hyperlink to how we take into consideration life, and specifically the standard of life we’re all dwelling. Whilst the crane connects to well being and longevity, the crow is all about transformation and magic. In the identical means, while a yoga observe is usually a means of growing higher well being and longevity, it additionally lends itself to remodeling the numerous layers of ourselves, and tuning into our personal kind of magic.
Bakasana and different postures that ask us to steadiness on our fingers have a means of citing fears and inadequacies inside many people. Unless you’ve grown up having fun with handstands and cartwheels, holding your personal body weight on two fingers is usually a scary process to undertake, and one which has the ability to rework our personal sense of self. When approaching this posture, discover in case your on the spot response is considered one of “no I can’t” or “yes I can”. The considering patterns we every develop up with and carry by life are sometimes repeated not simply inside relationships and careers, however on the yoga mat too. That’s the factor with a bodily yoga observe; we’re in a position to see our habits, and we are able to select to vary them.   
Lifting into Bakasana, we expertise the potential for remodeling worry into religion, battle to energy, and “no I can’t” to “yes I can”. Placing the fingers on the bottom, tucking the knees in direction of the armpits and gently negotiating with gravity till the toes carry the bottom – these are all facets that require braveness, they require us to belief ourselves, they usually require us to convey forth our personal magic. When we select to belief, once we select to consider we are able to carry our personal physique weight, once we select to help ourselves on simply two fingers, we solid a spell to rework outdated patterns of self doubt into new patterns of confidence and empowerment. We improve our high quality of life not simply by constructing a stronger exterior physique, however by constructing inside energy too.

Emma is a 500hr certified Yoga trainer, musician, therapeutic massage therapist, cook dinner, and author. Having grown up surrounded by Yoga and meditation, Emma started her observe at a younger age and has continued to check and develop her understanding of Yoga every day. Training internationally with inspirational academics, Emma’s passions now lie primarily in philosophy and Yoga off the mat. Emma presently teaches recurrently in Sussex, co-leading trainer trainings, retreats, workshops and kirtans, and likewise manages the Brighton Yoga Festival.

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