Mayurasana which means peacock pose is an advanced level posture mostly followed in hatha yoga but is also a part of other Yoga types. This arm balancing posture demands a great amount of strength of the wrist, arms, forearms, core and back. It also challenges your balancing skills, as when the legs are elongated behind, it looks like you are flying. It may look very simple in the pictures, videos or when someone is doing it, but not so easy if you are an absolute beginner at Yoga, as in this posture, the elongated body has to be balanced against gravity.
How to do it?
- Sit in Veeraansa with knees apart and feet close to each other
- Lean slightly forward and place the palm flat on the floor with fingers facing towards the knees
- Lift your hips, lean forward, bend your elbows and bring your elbows slightly closer, so they are placed on either side of your naval
- Strongly press your palms on the floor and let your head move forward towards the mat. You can rest the head on a pillow or a block or on the mat in front of you.
- With a strong core, start shifting your lower body weight to the upper body
- Keep glute and hamstrings strongly engaged for the lower body to be as one unit
- Slowly shift the weight forward and lift your legs off the floor
- Find your balance and slowly lift the head up and look straight ahead
- Stay here or if you find this comfortable, then straighten your knees and extend your legs behind you
- Try to be here for 8 – 9 breaths keeping your core, back, forearms and back leg muscles engaged
- Get warmed up: Never perform this asana as a start of your practice. Do enough warm-up of all the joints, especially the wrist. Start with a couple of Surya namaskar, so your entire body is activated and warm enough to do this posture
- Do some preparatory postures: Perform some postures that will activate your core, back, hamstring, glute and upper body muscles. Below are some of the postures that you can do as a vinyasa flow before you get into this posture
- Locust pose, superman pose
- High plank, side plank variations
- Cobra pose with hands-off
- Upward bow pose
- Boat pose variations
- Go for easy variations: If you are still not strong enough to do a full Mayurasana, then go for easy variations like keeping your palms on the ground with fingers facing outside towards the edge of the mat, keeping the legs bent initially as it is easier compared to straight legs. You can also place a pillow or block in between your elbows and stomach as the extra height will make it easier to lift the body and balance.
Overall strength and balance: This pose work on the strength of the core which then is helpful for other postures as well. Also, it works on forearm strengthening which is helpful to keep the wrist healthy. However, one has to make sure the wrist joint is warmed up enough to maintain the balance in this posture.
Provides great benefits to the digestive system: As per Yogic tradition, the navel is considered the source or home base of the digestive system. As in this posture, elbows are placed on either side of the navel, it works on any imbalance in this area which usually is the source of any Stomach-related issues. This also helps with the reduction of water retention in the body, and activation of the spleen so we have a healthy immune system. Regularly practicing this posture also helps in improving the overall digestion of any kind of food that we consume and flushes all the toxins out.
Beneficial for Abdominal muscles and organs: In this posture, most of the pressure is applied to the abdomen stimulating the nerve plexus in the abdomen as well as the organs like liver, spleen, kidney, gallbladder, pancreas, and circulatory system. As a result, this posture tones the abdominal muscles and strengthens the abdominal organs. A healthy and strong body benefits are guaranteed with dedicated practice of peacock pose
Activates the Manipura chakra: Manipura chakra is located in the navel region or slightly above the solar plexus. With the elbows burrowed in the navel, it helps in activating this chakra which helps a lot in getting more self-confidence and courage. This chakra also helps in stimulating the nadis which activates or energizes the body.
If you are suffering from a wrist injury or had any kind of surgery in the abdomen, then this posture should be avoided. Pregnant women should strictly avoid this posture.
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