Feathered Peacock Pose, Pincha Mayurasana, (pin-cha my-your-AHS-anna)
pincha (feather) + mayura (peacock) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Forearm Balance, Arm Balance
Turn your body upside down and get a fresh perspective in this photogenic arm balance.
Pincha Mayurasana Fundamentals
It’s always such a lovely scene seeing someone practicing Pincha Mayurasana – but don’t let the graceful look fool you, this balance is challenging, especially if you want to do it right.
It’s a good idea to first learn the Headstand before this asana, as the body shape is similar but Pincha Mayurasana requires more upper body strength. Also, prep for this asana by adding Dolphin Pose and Elbow Plank in your practice for a while.
It will take some time to get a good feel of kicking yourself up, so you can invert – but not so much that you topple over. Practice with a teacher or a friend, so they can spot you if you have the chance.
With time and practice you’ll become stronger, more patient, and more confident, which will help you conquer even more challenging arm balancing asanas. There are also many alternative leg positions you’ll be able to play with after nailing the basic version of the pose.Except for the sense of achievement, Pincha Mayurasana has other benefits and symbolism. It will boost your circulation and digestion, calm the mind, and combat stress.
Feathered Peacock Pose Symbolism
The peacock bird symbolizes fidelity and light in Hindu culture and represents sattva guna, the energy of goodness, knowledge, purity, and harmony. In the Vedas, they are connected with Krishna, who always wore a peacock feather in his hair. They compare the dance of the peacock with the dance of Krishna with the gopi, Krishna’s devotees who were completely surrendered to him.
These symbols can be interesting to those of you who are also Bhakti yogis or celebrate Krishna in another way.
Otherwise, you can also focus on the energy – Pincha Mayurasana activates the Third Eye and Crown Chakra, bringing a sense of focus, peace, and balance to the mind.
Pincha Mayurasana Benefits
- Strengthens the arms, shoulders, chest, back, and core.
- Improves your sense of balance and helps you overcome your fears.
- Increase blood flow to the brain, which relieves stress.
- Benefits the cardiovascular, nervous, lymphatic, and endocrine systems.
- Improves spine alignment and helps you work on your postural habits.
How To Do Pincha Mayurasana: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
- Begin on all fours in Tabletop position. From there, place your forearms and palms on the floor. Keep the forearms parallel to each other.
- Bend the right knee and step the foot slightly in, and extend the other leg.
- Sweep the active leg up, following it with the other foot, trying to lift the hips above the shoulders.
- You can stay there -just take your practice steps.
- If you managed to lift your legs and balance them in the air, extend the right knee next to the left.
- Try to hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds, then slowly release.
Tips And Tricks:
- You can wrap a strap around the upper arms, just above the elbows. This will prevent the elbows to splay outwards.
- You can also place a block between the hands to keep you in the right position.
- Once you’re in the pose, keep pressing into the forearms, draw your ribs in, and draw the navel in to activate the core.
- Internally rotate the inner thighs and point the toes to keep the legs active.
- When your shoulders aren’t flexible enough, you might easily compensate by doing a back bend – your body will enter a “banana shape” and you want it to be straight. To overcome this, add more shoulder and upper back stretches to your routine.
Pincha Mayurasana Variation:
The best way to warm up and prep for Pincha Mayurasana – and the best alternative for the pose is Dolphin Pose.
This asana has the same shape of the arms – the forearms are on the ground. However, it is not an arm balance – you’ll lift your hips back and up and stay on your feet just as you would for Downward Dog. It’s OK if your heels don’t touch the floor, but push them in that direction.
One Foot On Wall
This alternative is great if you are learning this pose without help from a partner.
Begin in Tabletop position, looking away from the wall. To measure where to stand, first sit against the wall with your arms extended in front of you for Staff Pose. See where the heels are and then in Table Top place the elbows where your heels were.
From there, lift the hips into Dolphin Pose. Then, lift the left leg and place the foot on the wall, shifting the torso forward and aligning it over the elbows.
Then Lift the right foot on the floor. Engage your core, and raise one foot away from the wall and up toward the ceiling. Hold for bit, then repeat with the other foot.
Against the wall
Like the previous variation, this alternative uses wall for support.
However, you won’t face away from the wall but toward it. Your fingers will touch the base of the wall.
Then, kick up into the pose and allow the heels to touch the wall. Still, keep your abs engaged and try to stay just as active as you would if there’s no wall behind you. With time, try to slowly release the feet from the wall, to prep for practicing without the wall.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Elbows Opening. Don’t let your elbows open out to the sides. This can be very difficult, especially for beginners. Prevent it by doing a lot of upper body stretches before the practice and by using a block between the hands or a strap around the upper arms.
Banana Shape. Since you’re on your forearms, you won’t be able to flex your shoulders as much as you could in Handstand. This is where the core will compensate, moving you too deep into a backbend. Avoid this by stretching your shoulders and activating the core before Pincha Mayurasana.
Injuries and Conditions
Avoid with high blood pressure, heart issues, and headaches. Also avoid in case of back, neck, and shoulder injuries.
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