Fly through hard times with Crow
by Nancy B. Loughlin
(Published in News Press, November 18, 2013. Posted with permission.)
When out of balance, we think a single life event can destroy us. A loved one’s death. Job loss. Illness.
But any event is devastating only if we are erroneously attached to what always changes: people, symbols of security, the physical body. Happiness, serenity and balance are not dependent on transient earthly comforts and physical pleasures.
We all seem to forget that even when our feet are kicked out from under us, we can still soar.
This is why we practice Crow Pose in tough times. It’s a popular photo bomb as this asana seems to require strong-armed witchcraft: balancing on two hands, knees on the elbows, feet off the ground, butt in the air.
Crow is not about strength. It’s about balance between what is and what can be, both physical and energetic.
⦁ Begin in yogic squat. Feet are wider than hip distance apart; toes point outward. Bend the knees as you work your butt low to the floor. Pause here. Take your hands to your heart and press your elbows to the insides of your knees, pushing them open. Breathe, and be passive, soft. Imagine any weight from your mind and heart running down your back and dripping to the earth.
⦁ Prepare for Crow Pose. Place your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Dial your hands inward about one inch. Push up onto the balls of your feet, and place your knees on the backs of your upper arms. With intention, lift one foot off the ground, lower it, and then lift the other.
⦁ Fly in Crow. Lift your gaze so you are looking forward, always forward. If you look at the floor, that’s where you’re headed. Instead of lifting your feet, ignite your core, your will’s power center, and lift your butt skyward. Your feet will leave the earth. When you are ready, connect your toes. Work your way to holding Crow for ten deep, diaphragmatic breaths. Trust yourself.
As you hold Crow Pose, breathe from your belly. Allow your body to relax, particularly your face. Tension and force do not breed success, not in moments such as this. Have faith that the upper energetic body (your intellect and spirit) will counterbalance the weight of the lower energetic body and your basic survival needs.
Emily Chiodo, yoga teacher with Joyful Yoga in Bonita Springs, believes the true energetic rationale for Crow Pose, along with all “tricked-out” poses, is simple belief in self.
“When you think moving through an ordeal is impossible, but then you suspend your disbelief and go for it, eventually acquiring the ability to do it, you have felt the experience of accomplishing what you deemed impossible,” she said.
You can survive. You’ll even fly.
Nancy B. Loughlin is a writer and yogi in Ft. Myers. She can be reached at NancyLoughlin@yahoo.com or Twitter @NancyLoughlin