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Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

Peacock Pose, or Mayurasana, is a powerful arm balance that requires strength, balance, and focus. Named after the majestic peacock, this pose mimics the bird's elegance and grace. Practicing Mayurasana involves lifting the body parallel to the ground, supported by the arms, creating a striking and impressive posture.

Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)


The name "Mayurasana" is derived from Sanskrit:

  • Mayura: Peacock

  • Asana: Pose

Thus, Mayurasana translates to "Peacock Pose," reflecting the balance and grace of the peacock, which are embodied in this posture.


Mayurasana is pronounced as:

  • Mayura: My-oo-rah

  • Asana: Ah-sah-nah


Anatomy of Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

Mayurasana engages multiple muscle groups and requires flexibility and strength. Understanding the anatomy involved can help in approaching this pose with proper alignment and awareness.


Muscle Groups

  1. Arms and Shoulders: The deltoids, triceps, and biceps are heavily engaged to support the body's weight. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint.

  2. Core: The rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis are crucial for maintaining balance and lifting the legs.

  3. Wrists: The flexor and extensor muscles in the forearms support the wrists in bearing the body's weight.

  4. Back: The erector spinae and lower back muscles help maintain a straight spine and balance the body.


Joint Involvement

  • Shoulders: Require mobility and stability to support arm balancing.

  • Wrists: Need to be strong and flexible to handle the pressure of supporting the body.

  • Spine: Core engagement protects the lower back and maintains a neutral spine.


Peacock Pose (Mayurasana): Steps / Instructions

  1. Start in a Kneeling Position:

  • Begin by kneeling on the floor with your knees slightly apart.

  • Lean forward and place your hands on the ground with your fingers pointing towards your body.

  1. Position Your Elbows:

  • Bend your elbows and place them against your abdomen, just below the navel.

  • Press your elbows firmly into your abdomen to create a stable base.

  1. Shift Weight Forward:

  • Lean forward, transferring your weight onto your hands.

  • Keep your head and gaze forward to help with balance.

  1. Lift Your Legs:

  • Straighten your legs and lift them off the ground, aiming to keep your body parallel to the floor.

  • Engage your core to maintain balance and keep your legs together.

  1. Balance and Hold:

  • Maintain your gaze forward and breathe steadily.

  • Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, gradually increasing the duration as you gain strength and confidence.

Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

When to do it

Mayurasana is best practiced when your body is warm and your muscles are sufficiently stretched. Incorporate it into the middle of your yoga session, after a thorough warm-up and preparatory poses. Morning sessions can be invigorating, while evening practices can help you wind down with a sense of accomplishment.


Preparatory Poses

Preparing your body for Mayurasana involves warming up the muscles and joints that will be engaged in the pose. Some effective preparatory poses include:

  • Plank Pose (Phalakasana): Builds arm and core strength.

  • Crow Pose (Bakasana): Enhances arm balance and core engagement.

  • Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana): Strengthens the shoulders and forearms.

  • Boat Pose (Navasana): Engages and strengthens the core muscles.

  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Stretches the hamstrings and back.


Follow-Up Poses

After practicing Mayurasana, it's important to cool down and stretch the muscles that were heavily engaged. Follow-up poses can help release tension and restore balance:

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana): Stretches the back and relaxes the body.

  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Elongates the spine and releases tension in the shoulders.

  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Stretches the hamstrings and lower back.

  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Opens the chest and stretches the front body.


Chakra

Mayurasana is primarily associated with the Manipura Chakra, the solar plexus chakra. This chakra is located near the navel and is connected to personal power, self-esteem, and transformation. Engaging the Manipura Chakra through this pose can enhance your sense of inner strength and confidence.

Manipura Chakra (solar plexus chakra)

Mantra

A powerful mantra to accompany Mayurasana is: “Om Ram” (pronounced as Om Rahm)

This mantra is associated with the Manipura Chakra and can help activate the energy of this center, promoting a sense of empowerment and focus.

“Om Ram”

Alignment Cues

  • Hands: Place firmly on the ground, fingers pointing towards your body.

  • Elbows: Press firmly into your abdomen for stability.

  • Core: Engage your abdominal muscles to lift your legs and maintain balance.

  • Legs: Keep your legs together and straight.

  • Gaze: Look slightly forward to help maintain balance.


Duration of Hold

Hold Mayurasana for 5-10 breaths initially, gradually increasing the duration as your strength and balance improve. Focus on maintaining proper alignment and breathing steadily.


Drishti

Your drishti (gaze) in Mayurasana should be slightly forward, focusing on a point a few feet in front of you. This helps with balance and concentration.


Physical & Spiritual Awareness

Physical Awareness

  • Strength: Feel the power in your arms, shoulders, and core as they support your body.

  • Balance: Focus on maintaining stability and even distribution of weight.

  • Engagement: Notice the engagement of your abdominal muscles as you lift your legs.

Spiritual Awareness

  • Empowerment: Mayurasana cultivates a sense of personal power and confidence.

  • Focus: The pose requires intense concentration, promoting mindfulness and mental clarity.

  • Resilience: Embrace the challenge of the pose, building resilience and determination.


Beginners’ Tips

  • Use Props: Place blocks under your feet to elevate the ground and make it easier to lift your legs.

  • Practice Balance: Work on simpler arm balances like Crow Pose to build confidence and strength.

  • Strengthen Core: Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your routine to support your lift in the pose.

  • Stretch Regularly: Consistently practice stretches to increase flexibility in your wrists and shoulders.


Who Should Not Do It

  • Injuries: Individuals with wrist, shoulder, or lower back injuries should avoid this pose.

  • Beginners: Those new to yoga or without sufficient strength and flexibility should practice under supervision or avoid it until ready.

  • Pregnancy: This pose is not recommended during pregnancy due to the pressure it places on the abdomen and wrists.


Who Should Do It

  • Experienced Yogis: Those with a solid foundation in arm balances and core strength.

  • Strength Seekers: Individuals looking to build upper body and core strength.

  • Focus Enthusiasts: Those who enjoy challenging poses that require mental concentration and balance.


Benefits of Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

Physical Benefits

  • Strengthens Arms and Wrists: Enhances upper body strength and wrist stability.

  • Improves Core Strength: Engages and strengthens the abdominal muscles.

  • Increases Balance and Coordination: Develops a strong sense of balance and body awareness.

  • Stimulates Digestive Organs: The pressure on the abdomen can help stimulate the digestive organs and improve digestion.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Boosts Confidence: Successfully achieving this challenging pose can increase self-esteem and confidence.

  • Promotes Focus: Requires intense concentration, promoting mindfulness and mental clarity.

  • Reduces Stress: Engaging in challenging poses can help release tension and reduce stress levels.


Variations of Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

Advanced Variations

  • Padma Mayurasana: Involves performing Peacock Pose with the legs in Lotus Position, adding an extra element of flexibility and balance.

  • One-Legged Peacock Pose: Lift one leg higher than the other, creating an asymmetrical balance challenge.

Simplified Variations

  • Supported Peacock Pose: Use a block or bolster under your chest to support part of your body weight.

  • Knees Bent: Practice lifting with your knees bent rather than straight to reduce the challenge.


Modifications for Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

  • Use a Strap: Place a strap around your upper arms to keep them from splaying out.

  • Wall Support: Practice with your feet against a wall to help maintain balance.

  • Partner Assistance: Have a partner support your legs as you lift into the pose.


Common Mistakes

  • Drooping Shoulders: Ensure your shoulders are lifted and engaged, not collapsing.

  • Unengaged Core: Keep your abdominal muscles active to support the lift and balance.

  • Bent Elbows: Strive to keep your elbows pressing firmly into your abdomen.


Safety and Precautions

  • Warm Up Properly: Ensure your body is adequately warmed up to prevent injuries.

  • Listen to Your Body: Do not push beyond your limits; honor your body’s capabilities.

  • Seek Guidance: Practice under the supervision of a qualified instructor if you’re unsure.


Additional Preparation Tips

Direction to Face While Doing This Pose and Why

Face east, the direction of the rising sun, symbolizing new beginnings and clarity. This can enhance the feeling of lightness and renewal that Mayurasana embodies.


What to Wear for This Pose

Wear fitted, flexible clothing that allows for a full range of motion without slipping or restricting movement. Yoga attire such as leggings and a snug top is ideal.


Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance

Practice in a quiet, clean space with enough room to move freely. Use essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus for a refreshing and invigorating atmosphere. Lavender can also be calming and help maintain focus.


Music for This Pose

Choose calm, instrumental music that helps maintain focus and enhances your sense of balance. Soft, rhythmic tunes can aid concentration and create a serene practice environment.


By incorporating these tips and understanding the depth of Mayurasana, you can approach this challenging pose with confidence, aligning your physical practice with spiritual growth. Remember, yoga is a journey, and each step, no matter how small, brings you closer to inner harmony and strength.



Happy yoga-ing!

Namaste!



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4 comments

4 Comments

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Guest
Jun 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I love lavender scent while doing this one. Glad I found this knowledge resource.

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Replying to

Thank you so much! It’s great to know the content was helpful for you. Namaste 🙏💜

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Guest
Jun 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The pose challenges you mentally for sure. It has improved my concentration over time. I do follow up poses suggested by you. It is helping me ease of daily stress. Thanks as a lot Pooja.

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Replying to

Thank you! Your feedback is incredibly motivating Namaste 🙏💜

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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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