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How to do Peacock Pose: Techniques, Benefits, Variations

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Also known as: Mayurasana

Target: Forearm, wrist and arm

Level: Advanced

Peacock Pose (Mayurasana) is an advanced hand balance yoga pose. It is most associated with Hatha yoga, although it is also practiced in other types of yoga.
By balancing on your hands, your wrists and forearms are stretched, and your muscles and back are engaged. This pose is a great way to release tension in your body, stretch your limbs, and challenge your balance skills.

Because of its uplifting nature, this yoga pose is best incorporated near the middle or end of a sequence of poses, such as a sun salutation or a sequence of sitting poses. Prepare for this advanced yoga pose by extending targeted body parts. Wrists are particularly susceptible to strain, so wrist stretching is recommended.

It takes very little equipment to master this pose – just a yoga mat and you. Beginners may want to ease into the pose with a yoga block or other basic aids.

Benefit

Balancing poses like Peacock Pose are beneficial for building the core strength needed for other advanced poses. You’ll feel the deepest stretch in your wrists and forearms, although your core will also be affected. As you balance your body on your hands, stretching your legs helps release tension by opening your back.

As you squeeze your legs together to keep your bottom high on the ground, your pelvis will also open up and your thigh muscles will work. This stretch opens and strengthens the entire body. The anti-gravity aspect of the Peacock Pose can appeal to people who stand on their feet for hours of the day.

Many arm raises require enough upper body strength to balance the rest of the body. People of all experience levels need regular practice to master this pose and experience the benefits. Incorporating this hand balance will prepare you for other yoga poses that require upper body strength and balance.

Step by step instructions

You can do Peacock Pose on a yoga mat, carpeted floor, or soft surface. No equipment required, but a yoga towel or yoga towel is not required.
1. Start in an upright sitting position. Sit on your knees and heels in Hero Pose (Virasana). Keeping your knees apart will help widen your hips.

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2. Lean your shoulders forward and place your hands on the ground in front of you. As you lean forward, your elbows should be slightly bent. Make sure that your hands and elbows are facing inward towards your heart.

3. As you press your palms into the floor, your torso will press against the back of your upper arms. Your head will be towards the mat.

4. Bend your knees and extend your legs back, toes pointing toward the floor. Your body weight should be distributed across your hands and feet.

5. Focus on the body as you prepare to shift the weight of the lower body to the upper body.

6. Squeeze the thighs together so that the legs become a unit. Use your toes to shift your weight to your upper body.

7. Lift your feet off the ground one at a time. As you regain balance in your arms, lift your legs so they are parallel to the ground.

8. Raise your head and look ahead. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, keeping your muscles, pelvis, and thighs engaged.

9. Release the pose by lowering your feet to the ground, then lowering your knees. Lift your arms and sit down on your knees and heels to relieve pressure on your wrists.

Common mistake

It’s important to avoid these common mistakes to maintain proper form and prevent injury or sprains. Extra care should be taken to avoid straining the wrist.

Don’t start your sequence with this pose

This pose should be done near the middle or end of your sequence. Start this pose with beginner poses to improve strength and balance. Take advantage of other arm balancing poses to ease your wrists into this advanced stretch. If necessary, do wrist stretches to avoid strain.

Kick back and forth at the beginning of the pose

When you try to balance the weight of your lower body on your hands and arms, you may feel like you are rocking or wobbling. Keep your elbows narrow inward. Your arms should not be shoulder length, but closer together. This will create a solid foundation for the pose. Alternatively, you may just need to practice more to improve your balance.

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Bend too far forward

This is called the balancing pose for a reason. Although most of your weight is carried by your upper body, you should avoid leaning forward completely. With your fingers pointing toward your pelvis and wrists in a vulnerable position, tilting your head toward the ground can harm your bones. Stay in an upright position as you find a balance between leaning forward and backward.

Don’t lift your feet too much

When you shift your body weight to your arms, you can quickly lift at the same time. However, this increases your risk of losing your balance and possibly injuring your wrist. Instead, lift each foot. Make small changes to allow your upper body to adjust before entering the final pose.

Release the pose safely

Like taking off, you’ll want to return to the floor gently rather than eagerly. Loosening the pose all at once can cause you to fall to the floor. Release the pose gracefully and safely by lowering each leg one at a time and shifting the weight off your wrists and onto your lower body.

Modifications and Variations

Need a modification?

Peacock Pose is an advanced yoga pose because it requires upper body strength and balance. If you can’t lift your legs while keeping your balance and hands fixed, there are some beginner-friendly modifications and poses to ease you into the final pose.
Beginners should first warm up with a plank position, such as the Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana). If you are at an intermediate level, you can warm up with Crow Pose (Bakasana).

Try placing a yoga block under your pelvis. This will help stabilize your form as you lift your feet off the ground. It will also ease you into the pose by encouraging proper balance. As practice, you can do Peacock Pose without these modifications.

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Want to join a challenge?

To make the Peacock Pose more challenging, try some of these techniques. Raise your legs above your head without letting your head return to the floor. You can also switch to a one-armed Peacock pose.

The Peacock Pose is truly unique as it is one of the few arm-balancing yoga poses where the hand is inward. However, there are other advanced poses that will challenge your ability to balance your body weight on your hands and arms.

Once you’ve mastered Peacock Pose, use your balancing skills to do Hurdler Pose (Eka Pada Koundinyasana II). This is an advanced arm balancing pose in which one leg is extended to your side. The Hurdler Pose will also strengthen your arms, which is why it complements the Peacock Pose in a unique way.

Safety and Precautions

If you experience pain in your wrist, arm, or hand while doing this pose, safely release it.

Do not perform Peacock Pose after abdominal surgery because the elbows put pressure on the stomach in this position. Check with your doctor to see how long you can do this pose after surgery.

Pregnant women should not do this pose because your belly rests on your elbows.

There is strong engagement of the wrists and other arm joints in this yoga pose. People with wrist and elbow injuries should abstain from putting pressure on these body parts

Trial

Incorporate this pose into one of these popular exercises:

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