Side Crow is a challenging yoga posture, but it is more accessible than most people think. There are ways of “cheating” in the posture that can make the shape more attainable, such as placing your hip on your elbow. In this tutorial, we won’t be going over that version. The intent here is not to help you attain a shape but rather for you to gain both a greater awareness of how your body works and ways in which you can strengthen it. As a result of increased strength and body awareness, postural attainment is inevitable, but the process is far more fulfilling and long-lasting.


Side Crow is a yoga pose that requires a twist of the spine, and like all other arm balances, upper body strength and technique are a must. The most important muscle group to strengthen is the flexors of your wrists. These are the muscles that stop you from falling, and since fear of falling often holds people back, you will want to make sure these muscles are ready for the job. The easiest way to strengthen the flexors of the wrists is to start gripping your fingers into the ground. Of the muscles in this muscle group, 2 are in charge of finger flexion as well. Finger flexion is like making a fist or grabbing something. Grip the ground in postures like All 4s, Down Dog, Plank Pose, and Chaturanga, and with repetition, you will get stronger and stronger.


Yoga For Strength: Strengthen Your Weaknesses • Maximize Your Physical Potential

  • 12 classes: Each class targets a specific muscle group
  • Strengthen your core, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms
  • Includes Side Crow, Jump Forwards, Flying Pigeon
  • Learn creative ways to strength train within the context of a yoga practice
  • Increase mobility by balancing your strength with oppositional muscle groups
  • Joyful accountability to help you reach your practice goals

SALE PRICE: $138.00 $128.00


The second important muscle group to focus on when working toward Side Crow are the shoulder muscles, namely the serratus anterior, rotator cuff, anterior deltoids, and pectoralis muscles. For the purpose of this article, we don’t need to get into what each of these muscles does; just know that they form the structure for your arm balances. Mostly, what you need to do is try and maintain Plank Pose with a rounded, full upper back, where your shoulder blades are apart from each other. Minimize the elbow bend — most people bend their elbows too much and lose stability in the upper body, making the foundation spongy. A microbend at the elbows is all you need. See the video below to get an idea of how much to bend.


    Now let’s get to the good stuff! All arm balances have what I call “2 foundations.” You have the primary foundation, which is the hands — this is most important. Then the second foundation is where the leg(s) rests upon the arm. With all foundations, we want to dig downward like a tree rooting into the soil. The fingers gripping the earth is a downward dig. For Side Crow, our second foundation is where the thigh connects to the arm. If you press the thigh down into the arm, your hips magically lift. It’s not magic actually; that’s just the mechanics and science. In this case, the muscles that do the pressing down are called the abductors (gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus, and tensor fasciae latae). To get these stronger, follow along with the video below.

    online yoga immersion for the spine


    November 2021 Immersion

    • Twists • Side Bends • Forward Folds • Heart Openers
    • Learn techniques to strengthen & mobilize your spine
    • Release back tension and discomfort
    • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
    • Advance your postural practice
    • Lifetime unlimited access to all

    $148.00 $118.00


    The last point of discussion is what connects the upper body and lower body: the obliques. Because this posture is a twist, the major core muscles that we need to activate are the external obliques. These muscles will help us to twist, and in the case of Side Crow, we can actually use them to untwist. This is confusing, but once you are in the shape of Side Crow, you are working to untwist along with the abductors, which will keep your buttocks up high and make the posture feel light instead of heavy. In the video, I go over some oblique warm-ups. When you are in Side Crow, it is quite hard to think about untwisting, which is why I show you a technique hack. By abducting the legs away from each other in Side Crow, you will automatically untwist the spine, and your hips will have to lift upward. The abductors of the hips and the obliques work together in this action, and you won’t have to waste brainpower trying to make it happen.

    Arm Balances


    Learn 12+ arm balances while expanding your knowledge of the body and increasing your body awareness. All classes are 75 minutes and ALL-levels appropriate 

    • Crow Pose, Side Crow, and variations
    • Flying Pigeon, Koundinyasana 1 & 2
    • Titibhasana, Bhujapidasana
    • Handstand, Forearm Stand, and many more!


    SALE PRICE: $198.00 $128.00

    Continue Learning

    Prepare For Lotus

    Prepare For Lotus

    Prepare for Lotus Standing Postures for Deep Hip OpeningflexibilityPREPARE FOR LOTUS There are multiple ways to prepare for Lotus Pose. The 5 standing postures and the techniques that are highlighted today are from a portion of a sequence Matt shares in the first...

    read more
    Half Lotus Explorations

    Half Lotus Explorations

    Half Lotus Explorations Articulations for Your Hips, Knees, and Ankleship mobilityHALF LOTUS POSE EXPLORATIONS Lotus Pose may become accessible at different phases of your practice, but it might not ever become attainable. Half Lotus Pose and variations are a great...

    read more
    Fire Log Pose

    Fire Log Pose

    Fire Log Pose 3 Actions for Increased Hip MobilityagnistambhasanaFIRE LOG POSE There’s such a joyous feeling when you’re unwrapping a gift and caught up in the anticipation of finding out what’s inside. This can be similar to the process of exploring a specific yoga...

    read more
    Lotus Pose Variations

    Lotus Pose Variations

    Lotus Pose Variations Is There a Safer Option?padmasanaLOTUS POSE VARIATIONS One of my favorite episodes of Three’s Company is when John Ritter’s character (Jack) laughs at Joyce Dewitt ( Janet) and Suzanne Somers (Chrissy) when they are doing Lotus Pose during a yoga...

    read more
    Pigeon Leg Lifts

    Pigeon Leg Lifts

    Pigeon Leg Lifts Ignite Your Core-Hip Connectionpigeon drillPIGEON LEG LIFTS Pigeon Leg Lifts are the perfect example of how you can flip a common yoga posture on its head. You may have explored several variations of Pigeon Pose, but this out-of-the-ordinary...

    read more
    Rectus Abdominis Handstand Drill

    Rectus Abdominis Handstand Drill

    Rectus AbdominisHandstand Drill The Key Component for ControlabdominalsRECTUS ABDOMINIS HANDSTAND DRILL This rectus abdominis handstand drill takes the fear out of inversions. That may be a bold statement to make, but it’s true. If you don’t have prior experience...

    read more


    When You Subscribe You Will Get Instant Access To

    • The Technique Pack: 15 Yoga Pose Breakdowns
    • Exclusive Online Course Discounts
    • Exclusive Blogs and Videos
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Thank you! check your email for your free training and be sure to put in your VIP or drag emails from me from your spam or "promotions" folder to your Inbox folder. This is where you will receive your FREE videos!

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This!

    Hey. thank you for reading. If this is helpful please share it!