Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Pincha Mayurasana is an asana in which the performer assumes the pose of a feathered peacock (peacock that spans its feather). Therefore this asana is called Pincha Mayurasana or Feathered Peacock Pose. In this pose, the performer stands on the support of both his forearms, transferring the entire body weight on the forearms. Therefore it is also called as Forearm Stand Pose.
Pincha Mayurasana – Forearm Stand Pose or Feathered Peacock Pose
Pincha = Feathered
Mayura = Peacock
Asana = Pose, Posture
This asana stretches your shoulders, neck, thorax and navel and strengthens arms, shoulders and back.
Preparation for Pincha Mayurasana
- Perform this pose on empty stomach. Remember to have your food 4-6 hours before beginning this pose. In the time gap, you will digest your food properly and also will gain good energy to carry out the asana with ease.
- Make sure to keep your bowel and bladder empty, finish of the toileting procedures well in advance.
- It is always good to do this asana in the morning time. If you cannot do this asana in the morning due to some pre-scheduled priority works, you can very well perform the asana in the evening schedule.
Method of doing Forearm Stand Pose
Positioning for the Asana
- To start with, lie down comfortably on the floor on your tummy (stomach). Face the wall while you sleep on your stomach.
- Now gently bend your elbows and see that they are exactly under your shoulders. Now your forearms are placed on the floor.
- Bring your palms together in the Anjali Mudra.
Performing and getting to the Pincha Mayurasana
- After positioning yourself as said above, gradually raise your right leg as much as you can and simultaneously kick up the other leg (left leg) off the floor.
- Now your entire lower part of the body is pushed off the floor, into the air. This will take your feet to the wall such that eventually your feet touch the wall.
- Stay in this pose for few minutes.
- Keep your head off the floor. Makes sure that your shoulders are away from your ears.
- Now touch your thumbs to your third eye. Your palms are still in the Anjali Mudra even as you lift your gaze.
- You may keep your feet touching the wall or you may bring them apart and keep them perpendicular to the floor (your lower limbs are perpendicular to the floor in the final pose).
Release from the asana and coming back to the point of start
- Breathe slowly and deeply and stay in the pose for as much time as you are comfortable in holding on to the pose.
- Gradually release the pose in the same order in which you have got into it.
Tips for Beginners
It is a difficult pose especially when you are a beginner. You may find it very difficult to stop your elbows from sliding away from their positions and from each other while in the pose. It is difficult for you to balance your body weight on your forearms and it may also be painful until you have mastered it.
You can do some minor adjustments to prevent the forearms from sliding away. Slip a strap over your upper arms, locking it just above the elbows. Then gradually stretch out your arms in front such that they are shoulder width apart.
Adjust the strap in such a way that it hugs the outer parts of the arms. Even as you set yourself in the pose, use the strap for assistance.
Push the arms slightly away from the strap instead of allowing them to bulge out into the strap.
Variation of Forearm Stand Pose
- It is by itself an advanced pose. With gradual and consistent practice as you start getting comfortable in this pose, try to let go of the strap. Move away from the wall. Gradually learn to do the asana without the support of the wall. This is also a pose advancement which will point out that you have mastered this asana into perfection.
Purva and Paschat Asanas
Purva Asanas (Preparatory Asanas)
Before Pincha Mayurasana, you can do one or more of the below mentioned Asanas –
- Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Adho Mukha Vriksasana
- Prasarita Padottanasana
- Supta Virasana
Post-Picha Mayurasana Poses
After performing Pincha Mayurasana (follow up poses), one can perform –
- Adho Mukha Vrikshasana – Hand Stand
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Sirasasana – Head stand
Duration, health benefits
How long to do?
One can stay in Pincha Mayurasana for a time period of 1-5 minutes at a stretch.
Health Benefits of Pincha Mayurasana
- It provides good strength to your back, shoulders and arms.
- This asana gives a good stretch to your neck, shoulders, chest and belly (abdomen)
- The feathered peacock pose helps in improving your balance and concentration.
- The asana calms the brain.
- This asana is a good remedy for stress and mild depression.
Effect of Pincha Mayurasana – Ayurveda Details
Effect on Doshas
Effect on Doshas and Subtypes
Pincha Mayurasana or the Feathered Peacock Pose balances the functions of Prana Vayu. Therefore it is good in keeping the brain, nerves and senses in a condition of calmness. It enables us to find optimum balance and allows us to concentrate. It is a good cure for depression and stress.
Effect on Dhatus
Pincha Mayurasana or the Forearm Stand Pose helps in strengthening the mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue), snayu (ligaments) and kandaras (tendons) of the back, shoulders, arms, neck, chest and abdomen. They also strengthen the asthi (bone) and asthi sandhis (bony joints), mainly the inter-vertebral joints, the shoulders and cervical joints.
Pincha Mayurasana, what it promises!
It is a beautiful and showy pose which makes you look like a peacock standing feathered out. This is one of the tough pose which needs both patience and skill to accomplish it to perfection.
This forearm stand makes you more stable than the handstand. The forearm which carries the entire body weight while in this asana gives a greater and larger foundation. It needs extreme strength, openness and skill and this can just be challenging. It may take time to ease out in this pose and master it to perfection. You need not hurry to get into it, but keep doing it and give a regular and gradual practice even if it takes good time for you to master it.
Many times this asana takes years to master it. It will test your patience. In the process you will become humble and gradually learn to let go of your egoism as you aspire to achieve this pose to perfection. To make your job easy, try to enter into this pose by doing a split leg or by bending your knees. Aim to move to the centerline and get into a vertical axis as you assume the pose.
While in the pose, you should remember to spread your shoulders, make your thighs firm, keep your spine engaged and to keep your toes pointed. These are very important points to remember.
In this asana your body should be skillfully pulled into a straight line after centering your body. The lift should be made to perfection taking care that you do not eventually collapse into your low back.
Prepare yourself as you practice the preparatory poses for this asana (mentioned ahead). You will eventually find your balance to perfection once you finally enter the pose.
Impact on Chakras
It has a balancing effect on Manipura Chakra or Solar Plexus. This helps in enhancing the metabolism and aids better digestion. This also enables proper supply of nutrition and in replenishing the tissues.
Who should not do?
Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Pincha Mayurasana –
- Heart disorders
- High Blood Pressure
- Shoulder Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Back Injuries
This asana shall be avoided in pregnancy and during menstrual periods.
Just Before Finish
It is always pleasant to see the peacock open its feather and dance in its fullest form. The Feathered Peacock Pose in which you look like a feathered peacock, beautiful in your stance, transferring all your body weight on to your forearms will provide a nice stretch and exercise to your back, neck, arms, shoulders and abdomen while calming your mind and nerves and helping you to concentrate. This is an awesome pose which will energize you to the core.
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