Alright my little yoga babes (and dudes), let’s talk yoga transitions. These are the movements that take you from one pose to the next and are an integral part of any yoga practice. A few transitions you may have seen during a yoga class include:
Yogi Squat (Malasana) to Crow Pose
Side Angle Pose to Warrior 2
Warrior 3 to Crescent Lunge
Since transitions are simply the way we move seamlessly through a flow, they tend to get overlooked. I mean, if we’re being honest they’re nowhere near as “sexy” as a full pose, so many times we tend to move through them quickly with little to no thought. The downside of course is that moving quickly means you’re most likely relying on momentum, not strength, and by doing so are opening yourself up to an injury. The next time you’re on your mat, try directing your focus to every aspect of your practice and maybe attempt a few transitions you haven’t tried before!
Today, I’ll take you through one of my favorite transitions: Crow pose to Chaturanga
If you’re new to Crow pose, I broke down a step-by-step tutorial in one of my very first blog posts HERE. Peep the disclaimer at the end that said I wasn’t a certified yoga instructor! Haha how things have changed.
Before you attempt this make sure you’re properly warmed up. I recommend going through at least 20 minutes of gentle stretches and Sun Salutation A and B to ensure your wrists, arms, and core are all ready for this fun and somewhat scary transition. Please keep in mind you should only practice this transition once you feel comfortable holding both Crow pose and Chaturanga! If you still practice Chaturanga with your knees down or if you’re face planting every time you practice Crow pose, focus on building strength and confidence in the poses individually.
Alright here we go…
Start in Malasana: feet mat width apart and turned out at a 45 degree angle. Tailbone draws down towards the earth as your spine remains nice and long. Elbows can push inner thighs further apart)
Start to come into Crow pose: the closer the knees are to your armpits, the easier this transition will be. Keep a bend in the elbows and focus your gaze on a point directly in front of you.
Prepare for the transition: Steady yourself, take a deep inhale in, and on your exhale round through your back and draw the lower belly in as you shoot your legs out straight behind you.
Pro Tip: Keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle to land smoothly in Chaturanga! You should never jump back into
Plank pose as it puts way too much pressure on the delicate ligaments in your wrists and shoulders.
Feel free to move from Chaturanga to Upward Facing Dog on the next inhale.
This transition isn’t particularly easy but it’s VERY empowering. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it quite right the first few times. Practice, practice, practice and celebrate the progress you make. When you’re ready for another challenge you can try transitioning from Crow Pose to Tripod Headstand back to Crow pose and then Chaturanga. That’s one that I’m still working on!
I hope you found this little tutorial helpful and inspiring! Now, go get on your mat and start flying.
With love and light,