Mayurasana - The Peacock
Mayura (मायूर māyūra) : amade of peacocks' feathers | dear to peacock | drawn by peacock | belonging to or coming from a peacock. Mayura (मयूर mayūra): peacock | kind of gait | kind of instrument for measuring time | cock.
This is a name that is shared with that of hand mudras. Mayura is the fifth gesture of the 28 single hand mudras (or asamyuta hasta) dsecribed in the Abhinaya Darpana (Mirror of Gesture).
The starting position is kneeling down with the trunk bent forward on the elbows. The elbows are positioned paralleled to the ground, hands pointing backwards. Hands, forearms and elbows are in contact. The elbows are wedged in the umbilical area and do not move from there.
Then, the head comes in contact with the ground (the forehead hairline surface) while upholding the position of the arms. Slowly, the legs are extended backward keeping contact with the ground from the toes only (in addition to the heads and hands).
Once the legs straight, a slight forward tilt is done by moving the arms forward and raising the head. In this way the center of gravity moves and the legs go up naturally.
Once the posture comfortable, the lumbar area can be arched with the consequence of having the leg rotation upwards.
At first, breathing is difficult and the posture may only be held during one full-lung retention. With experience, breathing becomes easier and several cycles can be used.
Start in padmasana (lotus pose), with the body resting on the knees rather than kneeling down. From there, follow the principles mentioned above.
This posture is unique and unrivaled for its effects on the abdominal area. It allows the awakening of the energies of the center (manipura). From this center, the energy and warmth quickly spread to the rest of the body. In addition, its strongly regulates the solar plexus an is said to heal all kinds of digestive disorders. A regular practice increases the digestive fire, the vitality, and the health.