Peacock pose is an asana also known as Mayurasana. It is an intermediate arm balancing pose that may require modification for beginners, and it is contraindicated for people with elbow and wrist injuries.
Performing Peacock Pose
In peacock pose, you balance on your hands with your body straight and parallel to the ground. Start this asana kneeling on your yoga mat with your knees shoulder-width apart, using a folded blanket or towel to pad underneath your knees if needed.
- Sit back on your heels, keeping your knees wide.
- Lean forward from your waist, putting your hands flat on the floor with your fingertips facing backwards towards your body and touching your pinkies and forearms together. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Slide your knees wider until they are outside of your arms with your thighs parallel with your arms and your knees further forward on your mat than your hands.
- Lean forward onto your upper arms, keeping your elbows pressed underneath your torso.
- Tighten your core muscles. Gently place your forehead on your mat and stretch your legs until they are straight with the tops of your feet resting on the mat.
- Keeping your core muscles tight, lift your head off the floor, looking straight ahead. Then, using your thigh muscles, lift the tops of your feet and your legs from the floor as well, until you are balancing on your hands. Keep your elbows tucked tightly against your body with your forearms together.
- Hold this for as long as you can, breathing naturally. Gradually increase the time you hold the pose as your strength improves.
You can modify peacock pose for physical limitations or to make it more challenging, though you should avoid this pose if you have a wrist or elbow injury.
- If you have difficulty keeping your forearms and pinkies together (which is an arm strength issue), then you can use a yoga strap to bind them together at the elbow until you are able to hold them together on your own.
- For help balancing when you are learning the move, you may rest your forehead and the tops of your feet on a block.
- Use the arm position to hold up the upper body with the legs still on the floor to increase arm strength and prepare for the balanced pose.
- Increase leg height to make the pose more challenging, or decrease leg height to make it less so.
Mayurasana helps with strength and balance. According to Yoga Journal, peacock pose:
- Strengthens arms
- Strengthens torso
- Strengthens legs
- Strengthens core muscles
Peacock pose balances and energizes the second chakra, also known as Manipura or the navel chakra. As the name suggests, the second chakra is an energy center located near your belly button. The navel chakra is the seat of relationship development - not just romantic, but all relationships in your life. Balancing and energizing it with peacock pose can help you honor other people with whom you are in relationship.
Improving Strength and Balance
While arm balancing poses like peacock pose may seem daunting to the beginning yogi, following the appropriate steps and modifications will prepare you to complete these strengthening asanas, adding a new dimension to your yoga practice.