The word baka means ‘crane’ and dhyana means ‘meditation’. The crane is a long-legged bird that can be seen standing in the shallow water of rivers. The crane seems to be asleep, but as soon as an unsuspecting fish comes within its range, it pounces. The crane is calm and yet very alert and epitomizes the state of meditation.
Baka dhyanasana is named after the reflective nature of the crane. Also the final position of the asana vaguely resembles a bird, the two arms being the bird’s legs, the two feet the bird’s tail and the head imitating the crane looking downwards into the water for fish. In English, the asana can be called ‘the pose of the meditative crane’.
Squat on the floor with the feet apart.
Balance on tiptoes.
Place the palms of the hands flat on the floor directly in front of the feet with the fingers pointing forwards; the elbows should be bent outwards.
Adjust the position of the knees so that they rest against the outside top surface of the upper arms as close as possible to the armpit.
Slowly lean forwards.
Lift the feet off the floor so that the whole body is supported on the hands and arms.
Keep the knees firmly in contact with the upper arms.
Bring the two feet together.
Raise the head upwards as far as is comfortable.
This is the final pose.
Stay in the final pose for a comfortable length of time.
Then slowly lower the feet to the ground.
If you have time repeat the practice.
In the final pose one can either hold the breath or breathe slowly and deeply.
Be aware of maintaining balance.
The asana can be done for as long as you have time available. We suggest two or three minutes, whether remaining in the final pose or intermittently raising and lowering the feet.
Baka dhyanasana develops the sense of balance and induces mental steadiness. It strengthens the arm muscles.