• Mayurasana (Peacock Pose). Its History, Purpose and Method, BAHIRANGA.COM MARCH 2017

    Posted in Articles by Eric Shaw

    Some yoga poses are new, and some are thousands of years old.

    By this measurement, Mayurasana is on the young side.

    We find a description of Mayurasana in the 500-year-old Hatha Yoga Pradipika, yet we have depictions of other yoga poses that go back 5000 years.

    Similarly, some poses are easy and some poses are hard. Mayurasana is not the hardest pose in yoga, but it is definitely difficult!

    As you can see from the images here, its shape is unusual and—arguably—unnatural.

    Besides the delightful physical challenge it gives us and the benefits to balance, strength, and endurance it offers—we might ask, “why do such a pose?”

    Figure 1. A circa 1820 wall painting from the Maha Mandir in Jodhpur, India.

    The Old Texts

    The old texts that describe how to do Mayurasana (and other poses) are trustingly simple their descriptions, yet they often make BIG promises as to a pose’s benefits.

    The descriptions of Mayuranasa are no different.

    In fact, they offer one of the most interesting promises found in the historical record.

    The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP), chapter 1, verses 30 – 31, tells us:

    “Hold the Earth with both hands. Place the sides of the navel on the elbows. Rise high above the ground like a stick. This is Mayurasana.



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