Mayurasana or Peacock Pose is a majestic and often imposing posture that combines core strength and wrist flexibility for an arm balance that suits the regality of its namesake. Building up to Mayurasana requires centralizing the Core and deeply stretching the wrists.
It is recommended that you practice this pose after three to four cycles of Surya Namaskar a and then three to five of Surya Namaskar b. Challenge yourself after a few weeks to practice the poses that lead up to Peacock Pose with a strap and then without.
Try incorporating two poses for relaxation after each session. Enjoy yourself and treat yourself with kindness.
Zip it all into Engage Core
Imagine a time when you were zipping up a jacket…you likely looked down and unconsciously tucked in your pelvis so that the zipper was easier to close. You tucked in your pelvis posteriorly, flattened out your spine, and brought those floating front ribs closer.
All these actions made your Core smaller, making zipping the jacket easier. You engaged your Core without realizing it.
To make the engagement more noticeable, practice Vajrasana by first arching your back. Then, simultaneously, tuck your tailbone, open the collarbones, and reach the pubic bone and the collarbones together.
You will see a difference if you sit like this every day for 3 to 5 minutes. This is an easy but effective way to strengthen the Core in Mayurasana.
Cow Tilt/Cat Stretch With Rotated Wrists
The hands should be placed in the same way as they are in Mayurasana. That is, with the palms pressed, the pinkies touching, and the fingertips facing the knees.
You may need to spread your arms apart as you increase your wrist flexibility. Start with shoulder distance and gradually bring your hands closer. The goal of Cow Tilt is to open the collarbones as wide as you can, as though your heart is smiling forward.
The pinkies will touch your fingers, which will bring your arms closer.
You will have to bend one or both of your elbows to make space for the head. After the leader is clear, straighten your arm. To get the maximum range of motion, press through your palms and shins.
Plank Pose Rotated Wrists
The same hand position for Mayurasana. Fingertips toward the back mat, pinkies touching. This pose should be held for as long as it is comfortable during the first few weeks to strengthen the Core and arms, as well as improve wrist mobility.
At first, it may seem impossible to achieve full Plank. Straighten one leg and keep the other shin and knee on the mat. Concentrate on the quality of movement rather than how long you hold Plank.
Down Dog with Rotated Hands
It’s one of the most difficult wrist stretches but is great for overall strength and mobility. Since the arms are super-glued starting at the pinkies in Cat Stretch, either one or both of the elbows must be bent to allow the head to pass so that the arms can straighten.
Practice zipping your Core up and focus on your lower back. Your back will arch and sway if you are tight in your body. Avoid this compression by bending your knees. This will help to create more space and lengthen the two sides of your body.
Building up to the Peacock Pose With a Strap
I find that using a belt and entering in an inverted V shape is one of the easiest and most beginner-friendly methods to practice Mayurasana. The following flow can either be performed with or without straps after the first step.
Measure your strap to ensure it is the same length as your torso. Over time, you can shorten that distance.
Alignment of the strap just above elbows and rotation of the wrists. This beginner-friendly variation will have the wrists just an inch closer than the shoulder distance, and the pinkies won’t touch. Over time, the pinkies become more relative to each other, and the forearms are pressed together.
Lower the head and reach the chest. Notice that the arms in the above photo are at 90-degree angles.
Rotate the spine in the same way as Cat Stretch so that the upper body is centered more forward than the wrists. This helps the elbows to find balance near the solar plexus rather than the hips.
The trickiest part. The reason you rounded your back was to lower the solar plexus slowly towards the elbows. You will not be able to walk with your feet far enough back, and your elbows will bump into your ribs. This is painful and will affect your balance.
As you step backward, ensure that your chest continues to reach forward and the majority of your weight rests comfortably on your elbows.
Squeeze the legs together to improve your balance and concentration. Reach the chest and head forward to find balance.
The pose is easier if your legs are higher. This is because this arm balance uses a type 1 lever, with the arms as the fulcrum. To make it more challenging, you can try to get your body parallel to the floor. You have reached Mayurasana.
It can be relaxing to massage the hands with your soles after stretching the extensors in the wrists and forearms. Padahastasana is a great counter stretch. The spine can either be raised to lengthen it, or the upper body folded forward so that the legs meet.
Balasana, or Child Pose
Balasana is an excellent way to relax the arms and release tension. Place your palms by your feet while resting in this pose. This pose can also be used to open and massage the internal organs that may have been compressed during flight.
Peacocks are able to fly despite their huge tails. They may not fly far, but they still manage it. This inspires Mayurasana, as our legs are heavy, but they do not prevent us from flying even for a few moments. There are many ways to progress into Mayurasana. Enjoy Flying!