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I have been playing with crow recently. It is always fun to come back to poses that you feel like you have mastered and find new and better ways to get into them. During this process of learning a bit more about doing and teaching crow, I discovered that I had only come part way in actually DOING the pose. This first picture (to the left) shows how I have been doing crow for several years. This is an example of just placing my legs onto my upper arms and does require strength and flexibility, courage and a huge sucking in of the core, but as you can see, I am stymied in gaining height and mostly reliant on my arms to push me up.
In the next image, taken quite recently, you can see how much higher I am in the pose and how much my arms are able to straighten. First, notice that my legs are not just perched on my arms, but instead are to the outside of my arms. You can’t see this, but in this position, they are able to hug in (a lot) to the upper arms. It is this action that allows the lift in the arms. Additionally you might notice that my back is much more rounded in the second image. This too allows additional lift. Finally, in the second image, my fingers are MUCH more active in pressing into the mat. Instead of solely relying on my arms just to hold me up, in the second pose, I am using my legs and fingers – much more of my whole body to come into this elevated and energizing posture. TRY IT!