Crane Pose / Bakasana
Baka means a crane.
The body in this pose resembles that of a crane wading in a pool of water, hence the name.
The techniques here are given in two different ways, one for beginners and the other for advanced pupils.
Technique for beginners
1. Squat on the haunches with the feet together. The soles and heels should rest completely on the floor. Raise the seat from the floor and balance.
2. Widen the knees and move the trunk forward.
3. Exhale, wrap the arms around the bent legs and rest the palms on the floor.
4. Bend the elbows, raise the heels from the floor, move the trunk further forward and rest the shins on the back of the upper arms near the armpits. Take 2 or 3 breaths.
5. Exhale, swing the body forward and lift the toes off the floor.
6. Stretch the arms straight and balance the entire body on the hands.
7. Stay in this position for 20 to 30 seconds with normal breathing.
8. Exhale, bend the elbows, lower the trunk, release the legs from the armpits, squat on the floor and relax.
Technique for advanced pupils
1. Perform Salamba Sirsasana II.
2. Exhale, bend the knees and lower the legs so that the thighs touch the stomach and chest.
3. Place the right knee on the back of the upper right arm as near the armpit as possible, then the left knee similarly on the left arm. The feet should be kept together. Secure this position and balance with even breathing
4. Exhale, pull the trunk up and raise the head off the floor. Stretch and straighten the arms and raise the buttocks. Extend the neck and keep the head as high as possible.
5. Balance in this position on the hands for a few seconds by tightening the muscles in the region of the diaphragm. Try to breathe normally.
6. Exhale, rest the head on the floor and go back to Salamba Sirsasana II. Then lower the legs to the floor and rest. Advanced pupils may perform Urdhva Dhanurasana by dropping the legs back after going up in Sirsasana II and then standing up straight in Tadasana. After one has mastered Viparita Chakrasana it is a soothing exercise after practising Urdhva Dhanurasana.
This asana strengthens the arms and abdominal organs since the latter are contracted.
Source : Light on Yoga by BKS. Iyengar.