Dear Willow: Will Crow Pose Break My Arms?

This week a reader asks if Crow pose is safe for the arms. Has anyone ever broken their arms while practicing Crow?

Dear Willow,

Can I ask a question? Are the arms strong enough to hold the whole body weight? I’ve done this [Crow] pose a few times actually, and they haven’t broken, but the arm bones are so thin. In your experience, has anyone broken the arms yet or are they strong enough?



Dear Paulo,

The arm bones are definitely strong enough to hold up your body weight. I have not ever heard of anyone breaking his or her arms practicing the Crow pose. Consider this pose a weight lifting exercise. It will take consistent practice to build up the muscular strength and will increase bone density. The more you practice, the easier it can become and the less likely you will feel your body weighing you down.

The weight is actually supported by how the legs are being utilized. If the legs feel heavy, they will be. If you choose to work all the leg and torso muscles to reach and extend upward, your body will be lighter.

When you practice this pose, do these actions:

  • Press finger tips into mat, then ease. Press palm into mat, then ease. Use hands and fingers to disperse your torso weight as needed. This finger, hand action is similar to playing the piano. I refer to it as Jellyfish fingers because of the flowing nature needed to maintain in the fingers and hands. They should not be stiff but able to modulate the energy in different directions.
  • Squeeze the feet together and pull them in toward crotch.
  • Jack knife (press down) your shins into upper arms to create rebounding lift.
  • Push your upper back and butt into air to gain height.
  • Pull your chest forward.

After practicing Crow pose, stretch your forearm extensors by turning the palms face up, fingers spread, and pressing them gently down into the floor. You should feel a stretch across the back of your wrist toward the elbow. This stretch will also help realign the ulna bone with the radius as they join with the humerus.

Breathe Deep,


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