Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the third of the Niyamas – Tapas or Discipline and Utkatasana.
Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Bakasana (Bah-KAH-sa-nuh) or Crow pose is my choice to represent Tapas. This is a challenging pose, and a great workout when held for an extended time. This is also one of the first arm balances I have been working on. Thank you to our featured Yogi Nick for both his demonstration of Crow Pose and his tips for beginners!
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Tapas Day today, I recommend a vigorous Power Yoga class.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing a new Hip Hop Vinyasa.
Each Tapas day, we check in on our progress with the daily habits we have set for ourselves. It typically takes 30 Days to set a new habit (which is why I love these 30 Day Challenges!) so if you have kept up on your daily habit you have likely successfully formed a new habit! Congratulations, keep it up.. perhaps it is time to add a new daily habit to your routine!! If you have not kept up, examine why you did not, and consider if you want to keep this goal or set a new one. Evaluate the reminders and/or rewards you set for yourself, and perhaps modify these systems to ensure your success! Yoga is a practice, and successfully changing our habits is about consistency, so we will keep checking in on our goals on Tapas Days.
As mentioned we are in a daily Asana Challenge, which I have kept up with by wearing workout clothes to bed and practicing first thing in the morning. I also have a daily habit of practicing French or Spanish with Duolingo… I am pretty pleased with myself to be on my way to two years of practice!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Crow Pose for Tapas Day! This pose is challenging, but is one of the first Arm Balances many Yogis (including myself) want to add to their practice.
If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Tapas Day – set or check-in on a meaningful daily habit!
Bakasana – Crow Pose
Start sitting on your heels in a kneeling position. Move into a wide squat in Malasana with feet slightly wider than your shoulders.
Bring your torso forward between your knees and place your palms on the mat a bit wider than shoulder width with fingers spread wide. You can keep your arms straight for the traditional version of this pose, or bend your elbows to make a shelf if easier. Bring your knees close to your arms and lift your hips, coming onto your toes.
Slowly lean forward as you engage your core, allowing your feet to lift from the floor. Pause here if you are comfortable. Or, to come into the full expression of the pose, try to bring your knees to your armpits as you draw your heels up towards your seat and round your spine.
PS if you are worried about face-planting, put a block under your forehead!
Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. To come out, slowly lower your feet to the mat, and press back into Child’s Pose.
PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!
Next INTRO CHALLENGE May 2023
Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried Bakasana or the more advanced variation like Flying Crane before? Always remember, be kind!