Classic Yoga

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose) Meaning, Steps, Benefits

Introduction

Mayurasana is one of the ancient non seated yoga postures found mentioned in Amrita Siddhi, a Sanskrit text probably composed in the 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 a thousand years.

Having said that, it is one of the important yoga postures for anyone who wants to learn postural yoga. To facilitate learning this posture, this article undertakes to provide its meaning, steps, and benefits.

Mayurasana Information

Pose NameMayurasana
Sanskrit Nameमयूरासन
IASTmayūrāsana
English NamePeacock Pose
Difficulty LevelHard
TypeArm Balance

Mayurasana Meaning

Mayur in Sanskrit means a peacock. Asana means a posture. Hence, in English, it gets the name Peacock Pose.

This yoga pose resembles the posture of a peacock, and hence this name. The position of the hands resembles the legs of the peacock. Also, 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 learned, it will not be necessary.

Those who are having abnormally weak arms and heavy bodies should avoid this posture. The persons who are suffering from Osteoporosis should avoid this practice. Also, persons with the following health conditions should avoid this posture or consult his/her physician before taking this practice.

Moreover, one should not combine the inverted yoga postures like Head Stand and Shoulder Stand with Peacock pose in a single session.

Preparatory Poses

Master this posture requires arm balance. Therefore, one should prepare himself by taking the practice of poses that improves arm balance. For instance, Swan Pose improves arm balance.

In the 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 this practice.

Mayurasana Steps

Step 1

Sit in Thunderbolt Pose

Step 2

Lean forward and place the palms on the floor finger facing legs. Then, bring the forearms and elbows together. Lean further and place the abdomen on the elbows. Then, rest the chest on the upper arms.

Step 3

Stretch the legs backward and keep them closer together and straight. After that, Raise the torso and legs and keep the body supported only by the palms. Hold the head up.

Step 4

Subsequently, raise the legs and feet further up and together. Now, breathe normally and keep the position as long as you are comfortable.

Step 5

To release the position, bring down your legs to the floor. Then, bring down the trunk and head. Release the palms and place them above the head. Now, take a rest until your breathing comes to normal.

Duration

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 Pose, one should choose any of the below-mentioned postures as a follow-up pose.

Mayurasana Variations

For advanced pose considerations, one may go for the following variations.

One-Legged Peacock Pose

Mayurasana Benefits

The practice of Peacock Pose gives the following benefits.

Mayurasana in Yoga Texts

Almost all the medieval Hatha Yoga texts describe Peacock Pose and glorify its importance.

Peacock Pose in Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes Peacock Pose in two verses. Verse 32 describes the steps.

First, place the palms of both hands on the floor. Then, rest the navel on both elbows. After that, stretch the body backward like a stick and keep the balance. This is called Peacock Pose.

– Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.32

The next verse lists the benefits of Peacock Pose.

It immediately removes all the diseases. Also, it destroys the disorders of the abdomen. Besides, it removes irregularities of three doshas of the body: Wind, Bile, and Phlegm. Moreover, It increases the appetite. Also, it digests the unwholesome food eaten in excess. Even it digests the deadliest poison.

– Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.33

Peacock Posture in Yanjavalkya Samhita

Yanjavalkya Samhita describes eight important yoga postures. Mayurasana is one among them.

First, plant on the floor firmly with the palms of both hands and on the forearms. Then, place the elbows beside the navel. Keep your head and feet raised. Also, keep your body steady in space like a rod. This is the peacock pose 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 eighty-four classical yoga poses. According to Verse 3.21 and 3.22, ten of them are more important. They are Auspicious Pose, Cow Face Pose, Lotus Position, Hero Pose, Adept Pose, Mayurasana, Cockerel Pose, Bhadrasana, Lion Pose, and Liberation Pose.

Verse 3.42 describes the steps to do Peacock Pose and Verse 3.43 lists the benefits. Verse 3.44 states “When Mayura is practiced like a stick, it is called Danda-Mayura (Stick Peacock Pose); whereas when practiced 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 the other leg stretched out forms Pinda-Mayura (3.46).

Placing one leg over the neck and the 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

Gheranda Samhita Verse 2.19 describes this posture and its benefits.

Place the palms of both 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. Also, it makes even the deadliest poisons ineffective. Moreover, it easily cures the diseases like tumors and fever. Such is the greatness of this posture.

– Gheranda Samhita 2.19

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