In this photo, I am nailing my crow pose (bakasana). Crow pose is the most accessible of all arm balance poses. After you can get yourself to balance in crow pose, you will be able to work on almost any other arm balance. Most people have to increase core and upper body strength to hold arm balances successfully. It has a different configuration than holding or walking handstand. Don’t assume that you can hold an arm balance just because you can hold a handstand.
There are two issues that can prohibit people from nailing crow pose (and subsequent arm balances). Either they lack the flexibility to bring their knees to their elbows, or they are simply afraid of falling. If you have attempted crow pose unsuccessfully it is up to you to determine which one of these challenges is impeding you.
1) At CrossFit Burke, my yoga class (which happens every first and third Sunday of each month from 9:30am to 10:30am) is called “Yoga for Mobility.” We all know how important it is to pay attention to increasing mobility in order to achieve model front rack position. Yoga adds an extra layer to expanding your mobility. Yoga poses target every muscle group in your body. Think of your muscles as a pulley system for your bones. I guarantee that practicing yoga poses regularly will feel like a “fountain of youth.” You will be able to move your joints and muscles more fluidly and extend their ranges of motion.
2) Arm balances are a head game. If you notice that you are afraid to fall forward onto your head while attempting crow pose then try placing a blanket, pillow, or bolster on your mat in front of you. This way, you can fall forward a few inches and have a soft landing spot. Most likely, you will not fall forward, but you will also not be afraid of falling forward. This is how you will be able to nail your crow pose.