Mayurasana – The Peacock Pose
Mayurasana or the Peacock yoga pose is one of the main asanas mentioned in the yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika. In sanskrit, ‘Mayura’ means peacock and ‘asana’ means pose. Mayurasana or the peacock pose is a difficult asana for beginners. Yet with a little practice over few weeks, one can master this asana. All one needs is patience and perseverance.
However this asana should be avoided if you have medical conditions like hernia, high blood pressure, heart problems and ulcer. Also women should avoid it during menstruation and pregnancy. Always attempt his asana on an empty stomach.
The first part of the article will give step by step instructions to perform this asana. As mentioned earlier, Mayurasana is a difficult pose. In case you are not able to attempt this asana, the second part will deal with practices which will help you gain the necessary strength and balance (in a matter of days or weeks) to perform it.
How to do Mayurasana (The Peacock Pose) ?
- Kneel on the floor, knees wide, and sit on your heels.
- Lean forward and press your palms on the floor with your fingers turned backwards. The palms should be placed between the two thighs. The elbows should rest on the abdomen.
- Slowly move the legs back, one after the other so that they are straight and the toes touch the floor.
- Raise the whole body by tensing the abdominal muscles and resting the weight entirely on the palms. Try to make the body horizontal and parallel to the ground. The body is balanced by the elbows on the abdominal muscles. The weight is entirely borne by the forearm and palms.
- Try to maintain this pose for 5 seconds in the beginning. Slowly, it can be increased to 1 minute or more.
Mastering Mayurasna for beginners
If you can perform Mayurasana on the first attempt, then you must be fairly healthy and strong. Most practitioners need few days to few weeks to reach this stage.
An easy way to achieve it is by practicing Hamsasana, a pose which is similar and easier to perform. Hamsasana or the “Swan Pose” is a related asana where you do only the first 3 steps mentioned above. It is same as Mayurasana except that you don’t have to raise your legs above the ground. Instead the toes can rest on the floor and give additional balance to the body.
Start with 5 seconds of practice of Hamsasana and then reach up to 1 minute. This may take few days to few weeks depending on your health, flexibility and strength.
Perform Hamsasana as mentioned in stage 1.
Now raise just one leg above the ground so that it is parallel to the ground. The other leg rests on the floor, balancing on the toes. Maintain this for as much time as you can. Start with 10 seconds and go up to 1 minute. You can alternate between the legs. First practice with the right leg raised above the ground and then with the left leg raised. Continue practicing this till you are comfortable to maintain the pose for at least 1 minute.
Now you are ready to attempt Mayurasana. All you have to do is to raise both the legs above the ground. Note that this will require you to re-adjust the position of your elbows on the abdominal muscles.
With little trial and error, you will figure out the right position for the elbows, so that entire weight can rest on the palms. Try this for just few seconds in your first attempt. Slowly increase the time to 1 minute or more over period of time.
Benefits of Mayurasana (The Peacock Pose)
- Mayurasana tones the entire digestive system and revitalizes the internal organs including stomach, liver, intestines, kidneys, pancreas and spleen.
- Mayurasana makes the digestive fire so strong, that one can digest any type of food, reducing the production of toxins in the intestines due to undigested food.
- It is an effective detox pose.
- It increases sexual vitality and energy.
- It strengthens the arms and shoulder muscles. It also helps alleviate conditions related to constipation, piles and diabetes.
Mayurasana is your gateway for perfect health.