What’s the difference between Crane Pose and Crow Pose?

You may hear some teachers call “bakasana” crane pose and some call it crow pose. While the translation of “bakasana” means either one of these things, the actual poses are different. This leads to some confusion which The Green Yogi‘s Jamie Horgan cleared up during her Core & Arm Balance workshop last week. As Jamie explained:

Crow pose is the “easier” variation of the arm balance. In this pose, the elbows are bent as if in Chaturanga. The knees rest near the armpit, and the shins may slightly rest on the upper arm:

In crane pose, the “harder” variation is taken. The arms are completely straight, eliminating the possibility to rest the shins on the upper arms. Even though crane is considered to be the harder variation, you may find it is easier for your body. Try it next time you join us on the mat!

Join us over the remainder of the summer as we continue to focus on asana!

About The Green Yogi MB

The Green Yogi and Daily Greens Blog started as a culmination of owner, Mary Strong's, combined interests in yogic practices and green movements. Today, the studio is a light-filled expression of balance between human and nature.
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36 Responses to What’s the difference between Crane Pose and Crow Pose?

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  13. Lotus Flower says:

    I was taught a completely different pose as the crane pose (sort of like standing splits).

  14. Thank you! This has been confusing the heck out of me, especially when people say “bakasana” for both!

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    thank you for the clarification

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  25. Thanks for the that clarification. I’m a teacher and I did not know exactly what the difference was either. Both are such beautiful poses!

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  27. Toddy says:

    Thank you wonderfully clear article on an oft misunderstood pair of asana. Could I humbly make one suggestion though: my understanding of the Sanskrit is that Baka means Crane/stork/heron, the long straight legged water birds and kakala means crow and the terms do not overlap. So kakalasana (and I’ve sometimes seen it as kakalasana) would be the accurate name for crow pose.
    : ) =<

  28. Pingback: Crow vs Crane « yogini love

  29. Sarah Newton says:

    I’ve just entered the Crane Pose Challenge at http://www.konkura.com/challenge/?uid=d027d660-d700-4e32-8e4d-c320d65b1a7a&t=The+Crane+Pose+Challenge ? Can anyone do over 2 minutes?

  30. Pingback: Bakasana – Crow / Crane Pose | Digital Running Club

  31. Lisa says:

    I’m learning this pose now; thanks for the picture and explanation! When you say “chins,” I assume you mean shins, right? :-)

  32. Finally, I know the difference! I’ve always been confused about crane/crow and whether there was a difference. I also only recently learned the difference between cobra and upward facing dog – it seems like the more I learn, the more there is to learn!

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