mayurasana - peacock pose


Hand balance.

Physical Benefits

Stimulates the digestive system, releases and clears toxins, improves complexion, relieves constipation and flatulence, purifies blood, balances the three doshas.

Mental Benefits

Energizes and clears the mind.

Subtle Body Benefits

Intensely awakens manipura chakra and the flow of samana vayu.

Karmic Benefits

Eventually bestows immunity from poison, and like a peacock, we become able to withstand and transform any toxins in the system. This happens more quickly if we consciously use the pose to create this result.

Lord Siva was known as Nilakantha - the “blue throated one.” That’s because he drank an ocean of poison and kept it in his throat, not swallowing it or allowing it to go down to his stomach, and so, his throat turned blue. Other than that, he suffered no ill effects from drinking poison. When the ocean was churned by the demigods and the demons, the churning produced poison. In order to save all beings from any harm, Lord Siva drank all the ocean water.

That’s how it works - if we perform Mayurasana with the intent to transform all toxins and poisons for the benefit of others, not only can we expect the poisons to have no effect on us, but we will in fact be able to serve others with this altruistic quality of the peacock.


  1. Make sure your belly is COMPLETELY EMPTY before attempting this pose! At least six hours should have elapsed since you last ate.

  2. Start by coming into Bhadrasana - Gracious Pose, with the knees apart and toes and heels together, toes curled under. Sit back towards your heels a bit.

  3. Keeping the outer edges of your arms and hands and your elbows squeezing together, place your hands palms facing down on the floor in front of you. Your wrists will be extended (bent back) with fingertips facing your groin, and the pinkie sides of your hands completely connected and squeezing together. Spread your fingers apart.

  4. Keep squeezing your elbows together as you slowly lower your belly down onto your elbows. Initially, keep your belly soft and pliant, allowing your full weight to come onto your elbows, so that they are digging into your low belly. You can position yourself so that your elbows are just above the ASIS bones (frontal hip bones) - this can provide a nice “ledge” for you lean against. Take time here to get used to this feeling of your elbows sinking into your belly without any initial resistance from your abdominal muscles.

  5. Keeping your collarbones and shoulders broad and your elbows squeezing together, straighten your legs and lean forward so your chin rests on the ground. Continue to let your outer shoulders release down towards the floor, upper back broad.

  6. Now engage your abdominal muscles and fully engage all the muscles in your legs, lifting them off the floor so you are only making contact with the floor with your curled under toes, your hands and your chin.

  7. Commit to your hands now being your feet, and your forearms now being your legs!

  8. Fully exhale as you engage every muscle in your body and raise yourself off the floor, moving slightly forward and taking your entire body weight onto your hands.


This pose is always done at the very end of an asana session. Follow with Shavasana.

Tips from Deep Retreat

  1. This pose is not exactly comfortable but deeply transformative - like all the fastest paths to liberation!

  2. Whenever you practice this pose, do it at least twice. Once is never enough! It is on the second or even the third attempt that the movement pattern imprints itself. Allow breathing to return to normal between repetitions.

  3. Keep your awareness in the belly area - on the navel and on manipura chakra.

  4. This asana should only be done at the very end of an asana session - last pose before Shavasana. This is a purifying pose - it vigorously increases circulation - including circulating the toxins that it helps to release! So you wouldn’t want to pour these toxins towards your brain by doing any inversions afterwards.

  5. If you’re going to do shoulderstand, headstand or other inversions towards the end of your practice, always do them BEFORE Mayurasana.

  6. If you’re endowed with large breasts, you may need to wiggle yourself in between your elbows before beginning to squeeze your elbows together.

  7. Work at this one patiently. It really pays to spend time opening the shoulders and strengthening the wrists.

  8. There is really no way to learn this pose without the guidance of a qualified teacher, and no way to perfect it without practicing it diligently!


Pregnant women and those with high blood pressure or any physical ailment or limitation should avoid this pose. ALWAYS do this pose at the very end of a yoga asana session, and NEVER before inversions, as it releases toxins into the system which we then don’t want to re-circulate throughout the body. Requires very strong wrists. Seek the assistance of a competent Teacher to learn this pose.