Topic 1 | Asanas: Practice | Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

Here we will describe three asanas:

1 Mayurasana

2 Hamsasana

3 Padma mayurasana

These are excellent asanas for speeding up the metabolic processes in the body and for eliminating toxins. Mayurasana and padma mayurasana can be described as balancing asanas and hamsasana as a simple form of mayurasana. Beginners should first of all master hamsasana and then proceed to mayurasana. Padma mayurasana can be done by anyone who can easily sit in padmasana.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

This asana is a balancing asana that requires a reasonable degree of muscular strength. Most women will find it quite difficult.


The Sanskrit word mayura means ‘peacock’. This asana is so called because its final pose resembles a peacock with full plumage. The legs represent the long tail, the forearms the peacock’s legs and the hands the peacock’s feet and claws.

There is also another reason for the name. A peacock has a well-known ability to absorb and destroy toxins in the things that it eats. Mavurasana is also renowned for its capacity to eliminate toxins from the body, hence its name.

Scriptural references

Mavurasana is mentioned in most of the well-known scriptures of hatha yoga. In the Gherand Samhita it says: “Place your palms on the floor with the elbows on each side of the navel. Raise your whole body in the air as though it is a bundle of sticks. This is called mayurasana

by yogis.” (v. 2:30) In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika it says: “Lie flat on the ground. Rest your body on the elbows keeping both sides of the navel in contact with the elbows. Raise your whole body off the ground just like a log of wood parallel to the ground. This is called mayurasana.” (v. 1:30) “Mayurasana is one of the best asanas for eliminating all types of abdominal ailments. It increases the digestive fire and eliminates the toxins consumed through faulty diet.” (v. 1:31)

Little needs to be added to these quotations; they speak for themselves.


In the final pose of mayurasana the whole weight of the body rests on the two elbows and palms. This is quite difficult for beginners since it requires muscular effort combined with balance. We suggest that beginners first of all prepare themselves by doing hamsasana and/ or padma mayurasana. Chakrasana is also a good preparatory asana.

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