Strike a pose: Paula Cronin explores Side Crow

By 29 October 2016News
Paula Cronin demonstrates Side Crow yoga position

This month we discover posture secrets from FG teacher Paula Cronin

Paula is a regular teacher on a Monday morning and evening. She’s the one setting you off for the week ahead with that oh-my-goodness-it’s-so-dark-outside 6.30am FG class. We thank you Paula!

Posture: Side Crow – Eka Pada Koudinyasana (arm balance or circus trick?!)

Benefits: Arm and hand strengthening. Upper body strength. Balance. Lower spine flexibility.

“Side crow was always my nemesis. It was the one pose I couldn’t do in the whole FG integrated system. I always figured that it was because of my knee injury or due to my thoracic outlet syndrome. I tried, but didn’t get it and felt very frustrated in the posture.

However, I first did Side Crow in my FG teacher training. We were doing one of our many posture workshops, and even though I was really scared (and quite frankly ashamed), I got up in front of everyone to admit this was a posture I had never managed to do. Then in front of everyone Michele talked me through it: I did everything she said (and it truly is all about the set up), I took my time, and I was in. Not only was I in my first ever Side Crow, but I STAYED in, for like, ages! I even remember looking up at Michele while I was holding the posture, and mouthing an expletive which could, for the purposes of this piece, be described as ‘Wow!’ I even cried. I will never forget it.

I see so many students in every FG class struggling in the same way and the chatterboxes in their heads are winning; “this is too hard, I’ll never be able to do this, oh this is for the advanced yogis, I will fall, I will embarrass myself, who do I think I am thinking I can do Side Crow.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the most “I’ll just sit this one out” posture around. To be honest, I used to do the very same thing as I thought I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to do it, that it was ‘too advanced’ for me.

But the truth is – everyone can do Side Crow (of course as long as injuries such as wrist strain don’t contraindicate it).

So it is important to listen to the teacher and follow instructions step by step. If one step is missed out, the set up is incomplete and it won’t come together. I see lots of people trying to get into it before setting up properly. This just causes frustration, disappointment, and a misconceived belief that the pose isn’t for them.”

So here we go – The Setup

“Firstly, the key part of making Side Crow work – is having the forearms vertical. You are, in a sense, creating an upper arm shelf and moving the weight onto the vertical forearms; a bit like resting on a table or chair.

  1. Ground the base of the knuckles down into the floor (like crow claws!)
  2. Bend your elbows to create a vertical shelf with your forearms to take the weight
  3. Lift your hips high to drop your knees on top of the elbows
  4. Look forward
  5. Lift you legs!

Mindful set up.
Mindful movement.”

Successful Side Crow!

“So next time you are taking the Fierce Grace class don’t hesitate to ask the teacher to assist in giving it try – it’s easier done than said!”