• James Roberts

5 Steps to Sidecrow (Pose Progression)


Sidecrow (Parsvabakasana) can be tricky. It was one of the first arm balances I learned requiring an uneven weight on the hands. How the body is aligned, with relation to gravity, can make all the difference. These steps will help you coordinate the intricate negotiation of forces vital to this pose.



Step 1:

- Stand 1.5 to 2 feet (0.5 - 0.6 meters) from the wall

- Sit back like you're moving toward chair pose (utkatasana) until your seat is resting against the wall

- Pitch the upper body forward and cross the left elbow to the outside of the right knee. (The left elbow can come to the left inner thigh, if reaching to the outside of the right knee is a bit too far.)

- Press the right and left palms together and use the resistance from elbow into knee and knee into elbow to deepen the twist

- Option to extend the arms and pretend you are pressing the floor away from you.

- Hold 4-6 breaths

- Do the same on the opposite side.


Step 2:

- Sit back into your chair pose (utkatasana) and reach the arms forward

- Cross the left elbow to the outside of the right knee. (The left elbow can come to the left inner thigh, if reaching to the outside of the right knee is a bit too far.)

- Press the right and left palms together and use the resistance from elbow into knee and knee into elbow to deepen the twist

- Option to extend the arms and pretend you are pressing the floor away from you

- Hold 4-6 breaths

- Do the same on the other side



Step 3:

- Fold forward and bend knees until you are in a deep squat. The heels will likely leave the floor. If you require support under the heels use a blanket or block.

- With your blocks on the highest level, bring the blocks over to the left side of your body.

- Press strongly into the blocks and deepen the twist. Keep inner thighs engaged to prevent the knees from splaying.

- After a few breaths, reduce the level of the blocks.

- As you reduce the height of the blocks begin to feel the right elbow making contact with the outside of the left knee. The left elbow may begin making contact with the outside of the left hip.

- When you're at the lowest level, try shifting weight forward toward the hands. Notice how each arm requires a different amount of force.

- Do the same on the opposite side



Step 4:

- Find the deep squat from step 3, but with the right side of your body close to a wall.

- Bring the arms around to the left side of your body and press the hands into the floor (or a block at the lowest setting).

- Gaze slightly forward as you begin to shift weight toward the hands

- As you continue to shift forward walk the feet up the wall for additional support.

- Hold 4-6 breaths

- Gently walk your way down the wall

- Do the same on the opposite side



Step 5:

- Start in the deep squat from steps 3 and 4.

- Bring the arms around to the left side of your body and press the hands into the floor (or a block at the lowest setting).

- Gaze slightly forward as you begin to shift weight toward the hands

- Float the left foot while keeping the right toes in contact with the floor. Establish a solid base with the hands

- Eventually peel the right toes from the floor and stack the right foot on top of the left

- Hold 4-6 breaths

- Come down gently

- Do the same on the opposite side.


Give these steps a try and let me know how it goes! #liveinyourfierce


Watch me break down these steps here:



 

James Roberts Yoga offers an inviting and empowering space for beginner and intermediate yoga practitioners to develop and deepen their practice.

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