Mayurasana, the peacock yoga pose, can be done instead of the crow as the tenth posture in the sequence of 12 basic postures of hatha yoga. The peacock is a balancing pose which strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists. It also helps improve digestion.
Definition: Balancing with your body parallel to the ground.
STEPS 1 & 2 – HANDS TO THE FLOOR
Start in a kneeling position, then move your knees apart. Place your arms between your legs, bringing your elbows in close to your abdomen. Next, lay your hands flat on the floor, with your wrists together and your fingers pointing back toward your body. Starting Pose: sit on your heels with your knees wide apart.
STEPS 3 & 4 – STRETCH OUT
Keep your hands directly under your abdomen. Put your forehead on the ground. Next, stretch one leg and then the other straight out behind you. Your weight should now be resting on your hands, toes, and forehead. Touching the Ground: at this point you are resting your weight on your hands, toes, and forehead.
STEPS 5 & 6 – IN THE AIR
Raise your head, and shift your weight forward. Lift your toes. If you perform the movements slowly, you will raise your legs without effort. Hold for 10 seconds. With practice, you will be able to hold the pose for up 30 seconds. Parallel Body: In the final position, your body is held straight and parallel to the floor.
THE ADVANCED PEACOCK YOGA POSE (Mayurasana)
With practice, you may be able to try this variation on the Peacock. The pose does, however, call for a great deal of strength and agility, and must only be attempted by advanced yoga students. Such people may even find this variation of the Peacock easier than the ordinary Asana, as the legs are in balance with the body rather than hanging behind it. In this pose, you balance on your hands and chin, with your legs raised vertically behind you.