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  • Mayurasana, (Strut Your Stuff Like a Peacock)

    Mayurasana yoga pose. In this yoga pose, hands are on the floor with fingers pointing backwards. Elbows are bent and are close enough together that the stomach can be placed on top of them. Stomach muscles (abdominals) are engaged. With stomach resting on elbows, move torso and elbows forwards relative to the hands till you the point where both legs and chin can be lifted off of the floor. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Mayurasana is a challenge if you are slick with sweat.

    You balance with your belly resting on your elbows in this arm balance yoga pose. However, if you are sweaty it is easy for your elbows to move apart and your belly to slide down between your arms.

    Make sure that you dry yourself of, or use a towel or dry tee shirt between your elbows and belly when doing this pose.

    Initial Set Up

    The initial set up for mayurasana is to kneel with your hands pointing backwards between your knees. Have your hands as close as possible to each other. Likewise your elbows.

    Move your feet back and straighten your knees as you position your belly on your elbows.

    Even without lifting your feet you may find that this position "stimulates" your abdomen.

    And actually that is one of the main therapeutic uses of this pose. It stimulates the gastric fire.

    It is one of a series of poses that can be used in the treatment of colitis (inflammation or ulceration of the large intestine.)

    Balancing in Mayurasana

    To get your feet off of the floor you have to balance. And to balance you have to have as much of your body in front of your hands (which are your balance point) as behind your hands. Generally this means that in order to lift your feet you have to move your body forwards. Since your belly is on your elbows this means that you have to move your elbows forwards as well.

    In the pictures below you can see that with my feet lifted the angle of my forearms is steeper. My elbows are more forwards.

    Mayurasana yoga pose. In this yoga pose, hands are on the floor with fingers pointing backwards. Elbows are bent and are close enough together that the stomach can be placed on top of them. Stomach muscles (abdominals) are engaged. With stomach resting on elbows, move torso and elbows forwards relative to the hands till you the point where both legs and chin can be lifted off of the floor. In this picture my body is forwards so that my toes are just touching the floor but are ready to be lifted. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.Mayurasana yoga pose. In this yoga pose, hands are on the floor with fingers pointing backwards. Elbows are bent and are close enough together that the stomach can be placed on top of them. Stomach muscles (abdominals) are engaged. With stomach resting on elbows, move torso and elbows forwards relative to the hands till you the point where both legs and chin can be lifted off of the floor. In this picture toes are lifted a few inches off of the floor. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Lengthen your neck as you do as your reach forwards. It may add a tiny little bit of leverage.

    Bend Your Knees

    If you can't get forwards enough to get your feet off of the floor then bend your knees. This shifts your center of gravity further back. As a result, lifting my legs with my knees bent my forearms can be almost vertical.

    Mayurasana yoga pose. In this yoga pose, hands are on the floor with fingers pointing backwards. Elbows are bent and are close enough together that the stomach can be placed on top of them. Stomach muscles (abdominals) are engaged. With stomach resting on elbows, move torso and elbows forwards relative to the hands till you the point where both legs and chin can be lifted off of the floor. In this picture knees are bent with both knees and chin off of the floor. Bending the knees can make it easier to lift up in this yoga pose. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    For extra fun and excitement in this yoga pose, lift your legs higher. Your chin will come closer to the floor as a result.

    This isn't a requirement of the pose. Some people will be happy just to balance, but it does show an extra degree of control and it's kind of fun too.

    Plus, you may be able to get your forearms more vertical.

    Mayurasana yoga pose. In this yoga pose, hands are on the floor with fingers pointing backwards. Elbows are bent and are close enough together that the stomach can be placed on top of them. Stomach muscles (abdominals) are engaged. With stomach resting on elbows, move torso and elbows forwards relative to the hands till you the point where both legs and chin can be lifted off of the floor. In this pose legs and torso are horizontal. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.Mayurasana yoga pose. In this yoga pose, hands are on the floor with fingers pointing backwards. Elbows are bent and are close enough together that the stomach can be placed on top of them. Stomach muscles (abdominals) are engaged. With stomach resting on elbows, move torso and elbows forwards relative to the hands till you the point where both legs and chin can be lifted off of the floor. In this picture legs and torso are angled so that the head is lower than the feet.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.

    And what's a peacock if it doesn't strutt it's stuff!!!

    Balance Basics

    I also talk about Mayurasana in Balance Basics.