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What Is Mayurasana?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2016
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Mayurasana is an advanced pose that used in the Hatha form of yoga. It is commonly referred to as the peacock pose, taking its name from the Sanskrit origin of the word peacock, mayura. In general, mayurasana is performed when the entire body is held parallel to the floor, while it is raised up on bent elbows. People who perform this pose strengthen the muscles of the body; improve balance; and reduce health issues, such as constipation and digestion problems.

It takes quite a bit of strength to hold the body in the mayurasana pose. As a result, many muscles of the body are worked and become toned over time. For example, the arms bear the weight of the body, causing the muscles to become well-defined. In addition, the rest of the body's muscles, including those in the legs, stomach, chest, back, and neck, work to hold those body parts parallel to the floor. Consequently, these muscles are strengthened and developed as well.

Strength is just one part of the many benefits of performing the mayurasana pose. The pose is believed to improve the yogi’s posture, letting the body’s core work to support the spine and pull back the shoulders. In addition, it is thought to improve digestion, prevent constipation, and improve the function of both the pancreas and the liver.

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Although mayurasana may be unattainable for beginners, there are some helpful hints that might make it possible. For example, a beginner may want to assume the pose, but she might not have the strength to hold her legs and head parallel to the floor. Some yogis recommend using yoga blocks or cushions to support the body. As the person becomes stronger, she can begin to remove the aids, holding the pose without help.

Also, beginners to the mayurasana pose should ease into it. Even if they can manage to hold their bodies parallel to the floor, they should only do so for a few seconds. As they engage in the pose more frequently, they can hold it a few seconds longer. Eventually, they should be able to hold the pose for 30 seconds.

The bulk of the weight of the body rests on the elbows and wrists with the mayurasana pose. As a result, those areas of the body are prone to injury. People with pre-existing injuries to one or both wrists or elbows should not perform this pose. In addition, people with back or neck problems should consult a doctor before holding the pose, as it can cause such injuries to worsen or cause irreparable damage. Some people with high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, or intestinal hernias should refrain from performing the mayurasana pose as well.

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