Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Mayurasana is an asana in which the performer of the asana assumes the shape of a peacock or Mayura when it struts around keeping its feathers down. Therefore it is called as Mayurasana or Peacock Pose. Mayurasana is a difficult exercise but with constant practice one can easily master it. It bestows lot of benefits towards a better health.
Mayurasana or Peacock Pose
Mayura = Peacock
Asana = Pose, Posture
Preparation for Mayurasana
- Morning time is the best time to perform Mayurasana. If you cannot do this asana in the morning due to some unavoidable reasons it is also good to do it in the evening.
- Make sure to keep your stomach and bowel empty and clear before practicing or commencing this asana. It bestows good benefits when practiced on empty stomach and or after having cleansed ones bowels.
- If you need to do it after consuming food, make sure to take your food 4-6 hours prior to commencement of this asana. This gives enough time for the food to get digested. Also, the energy provided by the food will help you in performing this asana effortlessly.
Method of doing Mayurasana
Positioning for the Asana
- To begin with, sit on your heels.
- Keep your knees apart.
- Place your hands on the floor such that the hand rests on the palms. See that your fingers point towards your body.
- Keep your belly firm. To do this you need to drop your head on the floor and gradually work up the strength in your stomach. (You can also position yourself in the cat position and start Mayurasana)
Performing and getting to the Mayurasana
- Gently bend your elbows. As you bend the elbows, press them towards your abdomen.
- Gradually stretch your legs out and backwards. See that the upper parts of your feet are facing downwards, towards the floor.
- Keep your shoulder blades firm. They should be pushed into your back.
- Tighten your buttocks. And raise your head. Look forward with fixed gaze.
- Gradually shift your body weight forward on to your hands.
- Lift your legs slowly off the floor, into the air. Make sure you lift your body into the air by gradually transferring the weight on the hands. Before you get the lift perfectly, practice by lifting one lower limb off air at a time and later once you get the balance on your hand and you start feeling confident, lift both your legs balancing your body weight on your hands.
- Now your body lifted in the air is parallel to the ground (floor) pivoted and well balanced on your hands.
- Keep yourself in the pose for about 10 seconds or more. With practice one can stay in the pose for one minute.
Release from the asana and coming back to the point of start
- After keeping yourself positioned in this asana for few seconds to few minutes or as far as your balance would allow you to be in that position, you should gradually release yourself from this pose.
- Gradually drop your head and feet to the floor. Lower your abdomen and come back to the point of start.
Note – Some schools of practice would also suggest you to go beyond keeping your body parallel to the ground while practicing Mayurasana. In this you are permitted to extend the asana by lifting the lower limbs high up in the air from the parallel position while bringing your head close to the ground as far as possible, balancing your body weight on your hands such that the lower limb head axis makes an acute angle with the ground with the head being near to the angle formation with the floor.
Advanced pose (variantion of Mayurasana)
Pincha Mayurasana or feathered peacock pose is the advanced pose variation of Mayurasana.
Purva Asanas (Preparatory Asanas)
Before Mayurasana, you can do one or more of the below mentioned Asanas –
- Chaturanga Dandasana
- Eka Pada Sirsasana
Paschat Asanas (Post-Padmasana Poses)
After performing Mayurasana, one can perform –
- Adho Mukha Shwanasana
- Eka Hasta Bhujasana
- Dwi Hasta Bhujasana
What time should be spent in the pose while doing Mayurasana?
Mayurasana is all about balancing your body weight on your hands. One can stay in Mayurasana for 10 seconds to half minute to one minute or more depending on one’s mastery over the balance and perfection over the asana.
Health Benefits of Mayurasana
Below mentioned are the benefits of Mayurasana –
- Mayurasana provides good stretch to the arms and back
- The asana strengthens the forearms, elbows, legs, back (spine), torso and wrist joints
- It helps in improving the posture and is a good remedy for posture induces health issues especially those pertaining to limbs, spine and joints
- It strengthens and tones up the reproductive system. Thus Mayurasana is an answer and a good remedy for all menstrual disorders and problems related to menopause. It also helps in enhancing sexual interest and increases sexual activity.
- Mayurasana is said to be an effective remedy for diabetes and piles.
- Mayurasana strengthens and energizes many organs, including stomach, intestines, spleen, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. It also stimulates the lungs and helps in its proper functions.
- It tones up the digestive organs. It is known to improve and increase blood circulation in the abdominal area. Thus it makes the abdomen and its organs strong and healthy.
- It helps in calming the mind. Therefore Mayurasana is a good remedy for those suffering from lot of stress and anxiety related disorders.
- Mayurasana is one of the best asanas which help in enhancing and improving the concentration. It also improves the body-mind coordination and synchronization.
- It is a good remedy for depression and prevents trembling hands.
- Mayurasana detoxifies the body. It helps get rid of fevers and tumors (Gheranda Samhita).
Effect on Doshas
Effect of Mayurasana on Doshas and Dosha Subtypes
Mayurasana basically balances the tridoshas.
Since Mayurasana provides good relief from menstrual disorders and strengthens the reproductive system and is also a good remedy for piles (arshas), it has its governance over Apana Vata and balances it.
Mayurasana calms mind, cures anxiety and depression and hence it balances the Prana-Udana Vayu axis and helps in proper functioning of mind and senses. It is good for mind health. This is also possible in sync with the asana’s beneficial effect in Manipura Chakra Balancing.
Being one of the best Asanas in rectifying the digestive disorders, in kindling the digestive fire (agni) and promoting proper metabolism, in strengthening the digestive organs, Mayurasana is said to balance the Pachaka Pitta or Pachaka Agni located in the belly, the principle fire needed to digest food properly. It also helps in balancing the Samana Vata-Pachaka Pitta synchronization which further aids in keeping the gut fire and its activities in balance. This is further aided by the Manipura Chakra balancing act of Mayurasana.
Effect on Dhatus
Effect of Mayurasana on Dhatus – Tissues
Mayurasana strengthens Mamsa Dhatu (muscle tissue) and Asthi Dhatu (Bone Tissue) and gives them good stretch. The asana gives good stretch and strength to the muscles and joints of the upper limb, back and abdomen, also to the muscles of the abdominal viscera (digestive organs). The asana provides a sense of balance to the whole body and helps in easing the movements in the muscles and joints.
By aiding good digestion and metabolism Mayurasana helps in producing good quality Ahara Rasa and Rasa Dhatu. It also nourishes the upadhatu (sub tissue) of rasa dhatu i.e. artava (menstrual blood, ovum, female hormones) and establishes a healthy menstrual cycle in women.
Effect on malas
Effect of Mayurasana on Malas – waste products
Mayurasana, by balancing the Apana Vayu, helps in proper and timely excretion of feces and urine. It also helps in detoxification of the system by regularly throwing away the unwanted toxins away from the body.
Mayurasana, what it promises!
Peacock has been an important bird represented in the Indian mythologies and histories. Mayura or peacock is a symbol of love and everlasting status.It is also made a National Bird. Mayurasana teaches you how to balance yourself. It helps you to identify yourself with your gravity and establish a link with the earth. It provides you strong abdominal abs and strong upper limbs with practice. At the same time you need strong arms and abdomen to practice Mayurasana. When we look at Mayurasana pose we may feel that one may just need good arm strength to carry on the asana but it is often said ‘Arm strength isn’t everything. The secret to mastering Mayurasana or Peacock Pose lies deep in your belly center.’ This shows how important it is to carry a strong abdomen into the act of Mayurasana. But the asana would ensure that you would be benefited with a stronger abdomen and healthy abdominal organs.
Impact on Chakras
Impact of Mayurasana on Chakras
Mayurasana has a stimulating and balancing effect on Manipura Chakra. By balancing Manipura Chakra, Mayurasana helps in balancing the metabolism. This also is possible because the asana also strengthens the digestive organs. The center of your body is the core of your body and it represents Manipura Chakra. When you gain balance of your body on your belly center in Mayurasana you would have activated Manipura Chakra. It is the chakra of fire, digestion, metabolism, of life force and identification of self. Manipura Chakra is also called as Solar Plexus, the region of core heat or agni. This asana enables you to establish contact with Manipura Chakra. Connecting to your Solar Plexus helps you to cultivate a healthy sense of self. By connecting and moving from your center, you would bring your body and mind into sync, into a perfect harmony.
Contraindications and precautions
Who should not do? (Contraindications and precautions for doing Mayurasana)
Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Mayurasana –
- Wrist, shoulder or elbow injury
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Brain tumor
- Intestinal problems
- Infections pertaining to eye, ear and nose
Mayurasana looks as an easy asana but it isn’t. It should be practiced under the guidance and supervision of an expert Yoga tutor, until you master it.
Just Before Finish
Mayurasana is one of the best asanas which provides balance and corrects posture apart from curing wide array of diseases pertaining to body and mind. It is a comprehensive asana for a balanced body-mind health.
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