Mayurasana is one of the ancient non seated yoga postures found mentioned in Amrita Siddhi, a Sanskrit text probably composed in 10th or 11th Century CE. The text was written approximately five hundred years before Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Hence, this posture has been in practice for at least thousand years.
Having said that, it is one of the important yoga posture for anyone who want to learn postural yoga. To facilitate learning this posture, this article undertakes to provide its meaning, steps, and benefits.
Mayur in Sanskrit means a peacock. Asana means a posture. Hence, in English it gets the name as Peacock Pose.
The posture when performed resembles the posture of a peacock, and hence this name. The position of hands resembles the legs of the peacock and the position of the legs looks like its tail
Peacock Pose Practice Procedure
Mayurasana Safety and Precautions
While learning this posture, one may lose balance and hurt her/his nose. To avoid this, one should place a cushion on the floor below his head. Once the posture is learnt, it will not be necessary.
Those who are having abnormally weak arms and heavy body should avoid this posture. The persons who are suffering from Osteoporosis and following health conditions should avoid this posture or consult his/her physician before taking this practice.
- Hypertension, Stroke and Cardiac issues
Apart from this, one should not combine the inverted yoga postures like Head Stand and Shoulder Stand with Peacock pose in a single session.
The learning of this posture requires arm balance. Therefore one should prepare himself by taking practice of Swan Pose that improves arm balance.
In Peacock pose, the body is supported by palms only; whereas in Swan Pose, the body is supported by the palms and toes also.
Hence it is easier to perform. However one should not perform inverted postures immediately preceding to this practice.
Sit in Thunderbolt Pose
Lean forward and place the palms on the floor finger facing legs. Bring the forearms and elbows together. Lean further and place the abdomen on the elbows and rest the chest on the upper arms.
Stretch the legs backward and keep them closer and straight. Raise the torso and legs and keep the body supported only by the palms. Hold the head up.
Raise the legs and feet further up and together. Breathe normally and keep the position as long as you are comfortable.
To release the position, bring down your legs to the floor. Bring down the trunk and head. Release the palms and place it above the head. Take rest your breathing comes to normal.
One may keep the position as long as he feels comfortable. Initially it may be extended up to thirty seconds or one minute. Thereafter, one may extend this up to two to three minutes. The posture may be repeated for three to five rounds.
Follow Up Postures
After the practice of Peacock posture, one should choose any of the below mentioned postures as follow up pose.
Advanced Pose Considerations
For advanced pose considerations, one may go for the following postures.
- Feathered Peacock Pose
- One Legged Peacock Pose
The practice of Peacock Pose gives the following benefits.
- Peacock Posture activates the Manipura Chakra or Navel Plexus. Hence it aids in the process of Kundalini yoga.
- Peacock Posture massages the digestive organs and improves digestion.
- It aids in the health conditions like constipation, flatulence, and diabetes.
- Peacock Pose removes toxins from the body and hence it provides better skin conditions and removes boils.
- It stimulates the organs of abdomen and improves the functions of liver, kidney, intestine, and endocrine glands.
- Peacock Pose activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System and develops mental and physical harmony.
- Yoga Postures like Peacock Pose help in the management of psychosomatic diseases like asthma, hypertension, peptic ulcer, spondylosis, personality disorder, gastritis and rheumatism.
- It strengthens the muscles of abdomen and develops muscular control.
- In the traditional yoga therapy, Peacock Pose is advised for body purification and elimination of toxins from the body. It harmonizes the three humours of the body: wind, bile, and phlegm.
Mayurasana in Yoga Texts
Almost all the medieval Hatha Yoga texts describe Peacock Pose and feature it as one of the important postures.
Peacock Pose in Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes Peacock Pose in two verses. Verse 32 describes the steps to do this posture.
Placing the palms of both the hands on the floor and resting the navel on both the elbows, stretch the body backwards like a stick and keep the balance. This is called Peacock Posture.– Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.32
The next verse lists the benefits of Peacock Pose.
It immediately removes all the diseases and destroys the disorders of abdomen. Besides, it removes irregularities of three humours of the body: Wind, Bile, and Phlegm. It increases the appetite and digests the unwholesome food eaten in excess and even digests the deadliest poison.– Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.33
Peacock Posture in Yanjavalkya Samhita
Yanjavalkya Samhita describes eight important yoga postures. Peacock Pose is one among them.
Planted on the floor firmly with the palms of both hands and on the forearms, placing the elbows beside the navel, with one’s head and feet raised, one is like a rod steady in space. This is the peacock posture that destroys all the sin. All internal diseases and poisons become ineffective.– Yanjavalkya Samhita 1,15-17
Peacock Pose in Hatha Ratnavali
Hatha Ratnavali gives the full list of eight four classical yoga postures. According to Verse 3.21 and 3.22, ten of them are more important. They are Auspicious Pose, Cow Face Pose, Lotus Position, Virasana, Adept Pose, Mayurasana, Kukkutasana, Bhadrasana, Lion Pose, and Muktasana.
Verse 3.42 describes the steps to do Peacock Pose and Verse 3.43 lists the benefits. Verse 3.44 states “When Mayura is practised like a stick, it is called Danda-Mayura (Stick Peacock Pose); whereas when practised on both sides, it is called Parsva-Mayura (Partial Peacock Pose).
With Lotus Posture, it is called Baddhakeki (Bound Peacock Pose or Lotus Peacock Pose) (3.45). Stretching one leg in front and other leg stretched out forms Pinda-Mayura (3.46).
Placing one leg over the neck and other leg stretched out forms Ekapada-Mayura (One Legged Peacock Pose) (3.47).
Peacock Pose in Hatha Tattva Kaumudi
Two verses of Hatha Tattva Kaumudi talk about Peacock Pose.
Here comes Peacock Pose which removes fever, dropsy, inflammation, toxins, indigestion, severe pain, and the like.
Verse 7.9 describes the steps and the next verse describes the benefits. These details are much similar to other Hatha Yoga Texts.
Gheranda Samhita Verse 2.19 describes this posture and its benefits.
Place the palms of both the hands on the floor, place the navel on the elbows, stand on hands with legs being raised and crossed like Lotus Posture in the air. This is Peacock Position that makes the unwholesome food ineffective and increases the digestive fire. It makes even the deadliest poisons ineffective. It easily cures the diseases like tumours and fever. Such is the greatness of this posture.– Gheranda Samhita 2.19