(my-yer-ahs-anna) mayura = peacock
Peacock Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
Kneel on the floor, knees wide, and sit on your heels. Lean forward and press your palms on the floor with your fingers turned back toward your torso (thumbs pointing out to the sides). Bend your elbows slightly and touch the pinky sides of your hands and the outer forearms (up to the elbows) together. Then bend your elbows to a right angle and slide your knees to the outside of your arms and forward of your hands. Lean your front torso onto the backs of your upper arms and burrow your elbows deep into your belly at or below the navel.
If your elbows slide apart, you can bind them together with a strap. Position the strap just above your elbows. If you can’t quite manage the full pose (as described in the next step), support your feet on a block (sitting on one of its sides), placed near the back end of your sticky mat.
Firm your belly against the pressure of the elbows. Lower your forehead to the floor. Then, straighten your knees and stretch your legs out behind your torso, tops of your feet on the floor. Firm your buttocks and round your shoulders slightly downward. Lift your head off the floor and look forward. Lean your weight slightly forward—if your legs and buttocks are firm and active, this slight shift of weight will lever your feet off the floor. Position your torso and legs approximately parallel to the floor.
Hold at first for about 10 seconds, gradually increasing your time to 30 seconds as you gain more experience with the pose. Then lower your head and feet to the floor, bend your knees, and lift your torso off your arms.
Contraindications and Cautions
Any wrist or elbow injuries
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
Eka Pada Sirsasana (Foot-Behind-the-Head Pose), seated version
To balance in this pose, support your forehead and/or your front ankles on a block.
Strengthens the wrists and forearms
Tones the abdomen
Strengthens the back torso and legs
Did You Know?
In Hindu lore, the peacock is a symbol of immortality and love. In the Peacock Gesture (Mayura Mudra), which represents a peacock’s beak, the ring finger and thumb are joined and the middle finger is slightly bent, while the other two fingers are extended.