Crow Pose Vs Crane Pose: What’s The Difference?

With over 200 individual yoga poses, it’s easy to mix up poses that look similar or have similar names. Regardless of how similar two poses might sound or look, each yoga pose is different and unique, and comes with its own benefits and meaning. 

The Crow Pose and the Crane Pose, for example, are easily mistaken for one another. However, while they might have similar names and might look similar in practice, they are actually two fairly different poses in their own right. 

So, if you’re new to the world of yoga and want to know the difference between the Crow Pose and Crane Pose, you’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about the Crow Pose vs Crane Pose!

What Is The Crow Pose?

The Crow Pose is a type of Kakasana, which is a term used to describe arm balancing yoga poses. This pose is all about understanding where your center of gravity is, and how to evenly distribute your weight, so you’re not relying solely on your arm strength. 

To complete the Crow Pose, begin in Mountain Pose and control your breathing. Then, bend your knees and bring your palms to the floor, shoulder width apart. Your palms should be flat on the ground about a foot in front of your feet, with the fingers spread wide. 

Next, bend your elbows back, and move onto the balls of your feet. Your knees should be open and placed on the back of your upper arms. Slowly, start to bring your weight onto your hands, lifting yourself onto your tiptoes and eventually taking each foot off the floor. 

You need to engage your inner thighs and core to keep yourself balanced during this pose, and huge your feet towards your buttocks. You shouldn’t sink into the pose, and rather focus on the feeling of lifting yourself up. When ready to come out, exhale and slowly move your feet back to the floor. 

What Is The Crane Pose?

The Crane Pose is a type of Bakasana, or arm balancing pose. This is a simple yet powerful balancing pose that is reminiscent of the legs of a strong crane bird. 

To do this pose, stand in Mountain Pose and bend down so your palms are flat to the ground. Move into a squat position, with your hands shoulder width apart and a foot from your feet.

Slowly, position your knees at the back of your upper arms, lean forward, and transition your weight onto your arms. 

Begin to lift your feet off the ground, and when you have successfully lifted your body, make sure your arms are stretched out as long as they can. This isn’t an easy pose to master and often requires the assistance of yoga blocks. 

Crow Pose Vs Crane Pose: What’s The Difference?

On the surface, the Crow Pose and Crane Pose look the exact same. Both are arm balancing poses, with the only body part touching the ground being the palms of the hands. 

While the basics of both poses are the same, there is one key difference between the two. The Crow Pose requires bent elbows to provide more support for lifting the body, whereas the Crane Pose requires straight elbows. 

The best way to tell the difference is to think of the birds the poses are named after. Cranes are taller than crows, which is why the Crane Pose lifts you higher off the ground than the Crow Pose. 

As a result, the Crane Pose is much harder to master than the Crow Pose. You will need to master the Crow Pose before even attempting the Crane Pose, because the act of bending your elbows provides far more structural support.

Without mastering the foundation of the Crow Pose, you will struggle to hold your entire body weight on straight arms in the Crane Pose. 

Another difference between the Crow Pose and Crane Pose is that while both are considered types of Bakasana (arm balancing poses), the Sanskrit word actually translates into Crane Pose.

The Crow Pose is often called Bakasana, but should more accurately be referred to as its Sanskrit name, Kakasana. 

This means that, while both the Crane Pose and Crow Pose are arm balancing yoga poses, they shouldn’t actually be referred to as the same Sanskrit name. This only causes more confusion about the difference between the two poses, after all. 


So, there you have it! To put it simply, the Crow Pose is basically the easier variation between the Crow Pose and the Crane Pose.

While both are arm balancing yoga poses, the Crow Pose offers more support with the bending of the arms, whereas the Crane Pose requires the individual to hold their entire body on straight arms. 

The best way to distinguish the two is to remember that crows are shorter than cranes, so the Crow Pose is closer to the ground than the Crane Pose.

Laura Simmons
Latest posts by Laura Simmons (see all)