The Mayurasana or Peacock Pose is an advanced hand-balancing yoga pose that is mostly associated with Hatha yoga.
Mayurasana stretches your wrists and forearms while engaging your back and core. It's a good way to release tension in your body, elongate your limbs and challenge your balancing skills.
In Hindu lore, the Peacock symbolises love, patience and immortality. The Peacock Pose helps strengthen the core while stretching the palm side of the wrists.
Mayurasana or Peacock Pose: Technique and Correct Form
Mayurasana can be performed on a yoga mat, carpeted floor or soft surface. You may use a yoga block or a yoga towel if you are a beginner. Here's how it's done:
- Start by seating yourself in the Virasana (Hero Pose) on your knees and heels. Maintain some distance between your knees to open up your hips.
- Your shoulders should be leaning forward and your hands placed on the ground in front of you. While leaning forward, your elbows should be slightly bent. Your hands and elbows should face inwards, towards your heart.
- Press your arms to the floor such that your torso presses against the back of your upper arms. Your head should start coming forward towards the mat.
- Unfold your knees, and extend your legs behind you, with your toes facing the floor. Try and distribute your body weight on your hands and feet.
- You must engage your core as you prepare to shift the weight of your lower body to your upper body.
- Squeeze your thighs together such that your legs become one unit. Your toes will help you shift the weight to your upper body.
- One at a time, lift your feet off the ground. Maintain the balance in your arms, and lift your legs such that they are parallel to the ground.
- Lift your head; your gaze should be forward. Hold the asana pose for 15-30 seconds, during which your core, pelvis and thighs will remain engaged.
- You can release the pose by lowering your feet to the ground and moving on to your knees.
- Slowly sit back on your knees and heels, taking the lift off of your hands.
Tips for Beginners
Mayurasana is an advanced yoga pose that requires utmost focus and bodily awareness. Beginners should do Mayurasana with caution, as there's a chance of hurting your hands and wrists if not done properly.
Given below are some modifications of the pose for beginners:
1) Peacock Pose with Feet on the Floor
You can follow the primary pose instructions for this, but do not lift your feet off the ground.
2) Half Peacock Pose
Follow the primary pose instructions, but try to lift one leg off the ground at a time.
3) Peacock Pose with Blocks
- In this pose, place your mat perpendicular to the wall.
- Set up one block against the wall and one towards the front of your mat.
- Step on the block against the wall such that the soles of your feet are against the wall.
- Place your chin or forehead on top of the other block, and position your arms (elbows flexed and fingers pointed toward your toes).
- Hold the position for several breaths such that you get used to the positioning.
- Place your knees down, and come out of the pose.
Preparatory Poses for Mayurasana
These are some preparatory poses you can perform before attempting the Mayurasana:
- Chaturanga Asana
- Forearm plank.
Follow-up Poses for Mayurasana
Perform these follow-up poses to destress your body and relax after Mayurasana.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
- Balasana (Child’s Pose).
Benefits of Mayurasana
The peacock pose is a advanced balancing pose in yoga, which is good for building core strength required for other advanced poses. The deepest stretch will be felt in your wrists and forearms, although your core will also be engaged.
Keeping your lower body above the ground requires you to squeeze your legs together, allowing your pelvis to open up,and your thigh muscles to become engaged.
The Mayurasana stretches and strengthens the entire body. This pose requires regular practice for people of all experience levels to master it and enjoy its benefits.
This advanced yoga pose can lead to injury if not performed with caution. To better understand the Mayurasana, take a look at these common mistakes and how to avoid them:
1) Initially, you may rock back and forth as you try to balance the weight of your lower body on your hands and arms. Practice improving your balance.
2) The Mayurasana is best performed near the middle or end of your sequence.
3) Leaning too far forward is a very common mistake which tends to happen, as most of the body weight is carried by the upper body. However, you should try to distribute the weight throughout your body, and make it parallel to the ground.
4) If you are a beginner, it's advisable to lift your legs slowly, one by one. If you lift both legs too quickly, you risk injuring your arm.
5) Releasing the pose way too quickly can cause you to fall onto the floor. Release from the Mayurasana pose gracefully and safely by lowering one foot at a time and shifting the weight off your wrists and onto your lower body.
Contraindications of Mayurasana
This pose should be avoided if you have the following conditions:
1) Suffer from wrist arthritis, wrist pain or carpal tunnel.
3) Have a shoulder injury or a rotator cuff injury.
4) Have abdominal pain, concerns or hernia.
5) Have back pain or related concerns.
Q. Which is your preferred asana to perform before Mayurasana?
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