Mayurasana – Peacock Pose

School of Yoga explains mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Mayurasana

Mayurasana – Peacock Pose

Mayurasana according to Hatha Yoga Pradeepika

Chapter 1 v (30) mayurasana – Placing both hands on the ground, rest the navel on the elbows and balancing thus, raise the body in the air like a rod. This position is called mayura.

Chapter 1 v (31) mayura cures all diseases like gulma (enlargement of glands in the abdomen like spleen), udara (stomach), removes irregularities arising from imbalance of phlegm, bile and wind. It enables digestion of food taken in excess and restores appetite, even having ability to digest poison.

School of Yoga explains – mayurasana technique:

  • Sthithi (starting) position: kneel on the ground.
  • Bring forearms together such that the little fingers of both hands are touching.
  • Plant palm firmly on ground near knees with fingers facing the knee and inside of the forearm facing out.
  • Inhale partially and stiffen abdominal muscles.
  • Let abdomen fall gently on the back of the joined elbows such that elbows are in the region of the navel. Do not relax abdominal muscles.
  • Stretch legs back one at a time and stiffen them.
  • Retaining the breath, rock body forward slightly such that legs lift, body is balanced evenly on hands and parallel to the ground. Legs should remain straight as well as stretched and buttocks contracted.
  • Retain for 5 counts. 
  • Slowly come back to sthithi position.
  • The drishti (gaze) recommended is manipura-chakra.

School of Yoga explains – mayurasana benefits :

Mayurasana

Yogacharya Sundaram demonstrating the perfect Mayurasana (1920’s)

  • When this exercise is performed, organs within the abdominal cavity are placed under pressure. Therefore, there is increased intra-abdominal pressure which induces peristalsis. As a result, there is very good evacuation of the bowels.
  • Intra-abdominal massage also ensures good blood supply to all muscles within the abdomen ensuring optimum functioning.
  • Mayursana is very good for removing flatulence, constipation and piles.
  • This exercise also improves functioning of liver, pancreas and kidneys, thus removing digestive ailments.
  • The action of lifting legs and balancing body on the wrists strengthens muscles of the wrist, forearms and lower back.
  • Mayurasana is also very good for ensuring better abdominal inter-organ orientation.
  • This asana is good for stabilising irregularities in periods for women.

School of Yoga explains – mayurasana contraindications: 

  • If you have any form of back ache, do not attempt this asana without adequate supervision and support.
  • Should not to be done by people having neck ailments or lower back ailments like cervical or lumbar spondylitis.
  • Those with cardiac problems such as high blood pressure should start this exercise only after getting proficiency in other asanas and that too, increase intensity of practice gradually, under guidance of a doctor.
  • People with kidney or liver ailments, hernia etc should avoid this asana.
  • Practitioners suffering from wrist problems like carpal tunnel will find this exercise difficult to perform. There will be severe pain at the wrist. Hence, one should first perform wrist movement and strengthening exercises before slowly increasing load on the wrists. If the pain continues, stop.
  • This asana should not be practiced during menstruation and pregnancy.

Some noteworthy points on mayurasana:

Internal Links: Dharma (conditioning), Stress and Situational Awareness, Prana, Asana overview 1, Asana Overview 2, Asana Focus or gazing, PranayamaHatha Yoga Pradeepika,  ShalabasanaHamsasana

External Links: Prana, Chakra, Pancha Tattva, Pancha Prana, Pancha Kosha, Nadi

  • Since there is a danger of toppling, when there is imbalance, fall to the side.
  • It is advisable to keep a soft pillow in front to prevent damage to the face. If falling sideways, use the deltoids to break the fall.
  • One of the problems in performing this asana is maintaining both, axial (along the length of the body) and lateral (balance between hands) balance. Keep hands slightly apart such that the elbows sit on either side of the abdominal muscle (abs). This increases lateral balance.
  • If you do not feel confident about maintaining balance along the length of your body, you can get similar benefits by practicing a variation of this asana. This is called hamsasana (swan pose) and performed with both feet on the ground.
  • Later one could first lift one foot and then the other as confidence increases.
  • The reason one is asked to take a half breath as in shalabasana is to ensure that the abdomen is not unduly stressed. In complete exhalation, the abdominal viscera would be loosely packed in the abdomen, while after complete inhalation; the abdomen would be tight, leading to stomach cramps. This is avoided by taking a half breath whereby the abdomen is not stressed.
Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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