Mayurasana

Build en­durance as you move step by step into Mayurasana.

Yoga Journal - - Practice Well -

Mayura = pea­cock · Asana = pose Pea­cock Pose

BEN­E­FITS Strength­ens your ab­dom­i­nals, back, wrists, and hands; improves pos­ture IN­STRUC­TION

1 Kneel with your feet touch­ing and your toes curled un­der. Try to keep your an­kles to­gether. Sep­a­rate your knees un­til they’re about shoul­der-width apart, keep­ing your feet to­gether. Deeply round your back, and tuck your chin into your chest. Place your hands flat on the floor be­tween your knees with fin­gers spread wide, point­ing back to­ward your feet. Gen­tly place the top of your head on the floor.

2 Gaze back at your feet, which will en­sure that your head is in the cor­rect po­si­tion. Walk your feet back un­til your legs are straight. Take your belly onto your el­bows. Keep your el­bows as close to your pu­bis as pos­si­ble, which is cru­cial to cre­ate the right ful­crum point when it’s time to take your feet from the floor. The closer your el­bows are to the cen­ter of your body, the eas­ier it will be to raise your legs and bal­ance.

3 Lift your head off the floor, al­low­ing your gaze to move from your toes, slowly track­ing for­ward un­til you are look­ing straight down at the floor (di­rectly be­neath your face). Now, take your gaze a cou­ple of inches far­ther ahead. Your gaze should be slightly ahead of your face with your chin gen­tly lifted (do not crane your neck).

4 Be­gin to shift your weight for­ward onto your hands by push­ing gen­tly and slowly with the balls of your feet and your toes. As your feet be­gin to lift off the floor, start rais­ing your head and shoul­ders slightly. When enough weight has shifted for­ward and your ab­dom­i­nals and your back mus­cles are en­gaged, you’ll reach a tip­ping point where your feet will lift from the floor. As your weight trans­fers onto your hands, keep your el­bows close to­gether and tucked up un­der your body. This is your bal­ance point and the ful­crum of this asana. To avoid un­due strain on your wrists, shift your up­per body for­ward—far enough that your el­bows are slightly ahead of your wrists. Your feet should still be touch­ing as you draw in your in­ner legs. This draw­ing-in ac­tion will add ex­tra sta­bil­ity. Just as in Sha­l­ab­hasana, elon­gate your body by reach­ing your head in front of you and ex­tend­ing your toes back be­hind you. If pos­si­ble, keep your legs and torso on an even plane so that your en­tire body is par­al­lel to the earth. Use your lower arms like the cen­tral sup­port of a see­saw. Some peo­ple like to take their legs high into the air when do­ing this asana. This is a valid ap­proach, but it cre­ates a dif­fer­ent dy­namic. Keep­ing your body par­al­lel to the floor re­quires a bit more con­trol and strength, and when you cap­ture it just right, you’ll feel the in­tegrity of op­pos­ing forces. Hold for a cou­ple of breaths, adding more as you progress. To exit, lower your feet to the floor. Bend your knees and place them on the floor. Tuck your chin, round your back, sit up, and smile!

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