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Mural depicting a Nath yogi in Mayurasana at the Mahamandir temple, Jodhpur, India, c. 1810

Mayūrāsana (Sanskrit: मयूरासन) or Peacock Pose[1] is a hand-balancing asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise with the body held horizontal over the hands.

A different pose, Piñcha Mayūrāsana or Feathered Peacock Pose, is a forearm balance with the body raised, giving some resemblance to a peacock's tail.

Etymology and origins[edit]

Mayurasana in an illustrated manuscript of the Jogapradipika, 1830

The name comes from the Sanskrit words mayūra (मयूर) meaning "peacock"[2] and āsana (आसन) meaning "posture".[3]

Mayurasana is one of the oldest non-seated asanas used in hatha yoga; it is first described in the 10th century Vimānārcanākalpa. The Vasisthasamhita 1.76-7 states that it destroys all sins.[4]


In this asana the body is raised like a horizontal stick holding the floor with both palms while the body is supported by the elbows.[5]


Piñcha Mayūrāsana

Forearm balance[edit]

Vrischikasana, Scorpion pose, is a forearm or arm[6] balance with the back arched and the feet resting on the head.[7][8]

  • Piñcha Mayūrāsana (पिञ्च मयूरासन) is similar to the forearm variant of Vrischikasana, but with the legs straight and held over the head.[9] (Feathered Peacock Pose)[10][11]
  • Sayanāsana (Posture of Repose) is the same as Piñcha Mayūrāsana, but with only the elbows on the ground, the hands cradling the face, making it a difficult balance.[12]
  • Galavasana or Eka Pada Galavasana has one leg bent, the foot hooked over the opposite arm under the body.[13]

Hand balance[edit]

  • Hamsāsana (Swan Pose) is identical to Mayūrāsana except that the hands are placed with the fingers pointing forwards.[14]
Padma Mayūrāsana
  • Padma Mayūrāsana (Lotus Peacock Pose)[15]
  • Uttana Padma Mayūrāsana (Intense Stretch Lotus Peacock Pose)[16]


Twentieth century advocates of some schools of yoga, such as B. K. S. Iyengar, made claims for the effects of yoga on specific organs, without adducing any evidence.[17][18] Iyengar claimed that this pose "tones up the abdominal organs wonderfully", and that the elbow pressure on the abdominal aorta make blood circulate "properly in the abdominal organs",[19] He claimed further that the pose improved the digestion, cured stomach and spleen illnesses, and prevented "toxins" from accumulating.[19] He stated also that it would be of benefit in diabetes.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Yoga Journal - Peacock Pose". Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Mayurasana -". Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  3. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  4. ^ Mallinson, James; Singleton, Mark (2017). Roots of Yoga. Penguin Books. pp. 100–101, 105. ISBN 978-0-241-25304-5. OCLC 928480104.
  5. ^ Iyengar 1979, pp. 282–284.
  6. ^ Iyengar 1979, p. 386.
  7. ^ "Vrschikasana". Yogapedia. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  8. ^ Sherman, Diane. "mastering the scorpion pose - 6 easy steps to vrschikasana". Yogi Times. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Pincha Mayurasana -". Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Yoga Journal - Feathered Peacock Pose". Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  11. ^ Iyengar 1979, pp. 285–287.
  12. ^ Iyengar 1979, pp. 286–287.
  13. ^ Rizopoulos, Natasha (9 August 2012). "Flight Club: 5 Steps to Flying Pigeon Pose". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  14. ^ Iyengar 1979, pp. 284–285.
  15. ^ Ramaswami, Srivatsa; Krishnamacharya, T. (3 June 2005). The complete book of vinyasa yoga: an authoritative presentation, based on 30 years of direct study under the legendary yoga teacher Krishnamacharya. Da Capo Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-56924-402-9. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Uttana Padma Mayurasana". Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  17. ^ Newcombe 2019, pp. 203-227, Chapter "Yoga as Therapy".
  18. ^ Jain 2015, pp. 82–83.
  19. ^ a b c Iyengar 1979, p. 284.


Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika. Unwin Paperbacks. ISBN 978-1855381667.
Jain, Andrea (2015). Selling Yoga : from Counterculture to Pop culture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-939024-3. OCLC 878953765.
Newcombe, Suzanne (2019). Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis. Bristol, England: Equinox Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78179-661-0.

External links[edit]