How to Do Peacock Pose in Yoga (Guide to Mayurasana)

The Peacock Pose is a challenging asana in which you balance your whole body on your arms and wrists. It’s an advanced position that should be done at the end of your yoga practice and after wrist warm-up and stretches.

Peacock pose helps to build core and arm strength for other arm balances. For advanced students, this pose is an excellent choice to feel a great release of tension in the entire body. In traditional yoga, it’s believed this pose stimulates the digestive fire and speeds up metabolism.

The pose received its name as it resembles the peacock – you’re extending your legs, imitating a peacock fanning out its impressive feathers. The peacock can also eat poisonous animals without any issues, and we emulate this nature by improving digestion and stimulating detoxification.

“According to yogic tradition, the navel center holds the digestive fire. Imbalances in this area of the body are the root of many illnesses since it is home to the majority of our organs.”, says Yoga Answered contributor Sara Popovic. “The Peacock pose activates this area and strengthens our digestion. In a deeper sense, this doesn’t only rid our body of toxins but also cleanses us of negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and sadness. Activating the prana of the digestive system is said to boost courage, confidence, and enthusiasm.”

Peacock Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Mayurasana
Pose Type: Arm Balance Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Advanced pose
Targets: Core, shoulders, wrists, lower back, glutes, and arms
Benefits: The pose strengthens the entire front body, particularly the core, chest, arms, thighs, and back of the wrists. It stretches the palm sides of the wrists, which is ideal for those who strain their wrists with typing, drawing, and similar activities. The peacock pose stimulates the digestive system, aiding in detoxification and digestion.
Preparatory Poses: Four-Limbed Staff pose, Cow Face pose, Plank pose, Locust pose, Child’s pose, Forearm Plank pose.

How to Do Peacock Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start in a kneeling position with your knees wide apart and your toes touching behind you.
  2. Bring your elbows together and place them in front of you, with both palms on the ground. Your palms and elbows should face your torso. Open them slightly to the sides if that’s too uncomfortable.
  3. Press the palms firmly into the floor, bend the elbows, and lean your chest on the upper arms. Walk your legs back slightly, you don’t need to extend them fully.
  4. Engage your core and shift your weight forward. Squeeze your thighs together.
  5. Lift your feet off the ground, one at a time. Start with bent knees. If you feel you found balance in your arms, lift both legs off the ground.
  6. For the full expression of the pose, extend your legs back.  
  7. Hold the pose as long as you can, for up to 30 seconds.
  8. Release the pose by first lowering the feet, then the knees. Elevate your torso and sit back of your knees. Shake your wrists to remove any tension.

Beginner’s Tip

Attempt the pose only when you have a strong Chaturanga – the Four-Limbed Staff Pose, and can hold it for some time. Additionally, never attempt the pose without a proper warm-up, focusing on your upper body and wrists. When learning the pose, you can place a block under the pelvis and the forehead to find balance and your center of gravity. If it’s difficult to keep your elbows close, you can bind them with a yoga strap. However, if you have a larger chest or broad shoulders, you can keep the elbows slightly apart. Experiment with the placement of the hands and elbows and find what feels good for your body.

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