Kneel on the floor.
Place the two feet together.
Separate the knees.
This position is as adopted for simhasana.
Place both palms on the floor between the knees; the fingers should point backwards towards the feet.
Bring the wrists and forearms together so that they touch.
Lean forward and rest the abdomen on the top of the elbows in the region just below the navel.
Let the chest rest on top of the upper arms.
Stretch the legs back so that they are straight and together.
Breathe in deeply.
Tense the muscles of the body.
Slowly elevate the trunk, head and legs so that they lie in one straight, horizontal line.
Hold the head upward.
The whole body should be balanced on the palms.
Try to elevate the legs and feet higher, keeping them straight, by applying more muscular effort and by adjusting the balance of the body.
This is the final pose.
Hold the final pose for as long as is comfortable.
Use the fingers to maintain balance.
Do not strain.
Then slowly lower the legs to the ground. Return to the starting pose.
This is 1 round. Another round can be done if you have sufficient energy and when the breathing rate has returned to normal.
It is very easy to fall forward from the final pose and crush the nose on the floor. Be careful and if necessary place a small cushion under the face.
Normal breathing in the starting pose. Deep inhalation before raising the body to the final pose. Beginners can hold their breath in the final pose for as long as is comfortable. Advanced practitioners can breathe slowly and deeply in the final pose. Breathe out after returning to the starting position. Breathe normally before attempting a second round.
Awareness should be on balance in the final pose.
Stay in the final pose either:
1. For as long as you can hold your breath, or
2. While breathing deeply for as long as you feel no undue fatigue.
Do not strain under any circumstances. Beginners should stay only for a few seconds in the final pose, slowly increasing by a few seconds every day. Do not attempt too many rounds. Three is about the maximum. With practice it is possible to stay in the final pose for a few minutes, but there should not be any strain.
Time of practice and sequence
Practise when the stomach is empty. Like most asanas, the best time to practise is early in the morning before breakfast.
Mayurasana vigorously speeds up the blood flow. Also it tends to increase the amount of toxins in the blood as part of the process of purification, therefore do not practise mayurasana before any inverted asana, for this may direct excessive toxins towards the brain.
Mayurasana should be done at the end of your asana program.
Mayurasana should not be practised if you suffer from any of the following ailments:
- high blood pressure
- any heart ailments
- peptic or duodenal ulcers
Do not attempt to do mayurasana if you are even slightly ill or if you feel any physical weakness. Pregnant women are strictly advised not to practise mayurasana.