Makarasana - Pose of Makara

 

Introduction

Makara मकर . Marine monster, chimera of dolphin and crocodile. Ride of Varuṇa and Gaṅgā. Emblem of Kamā. Astrological sign and constellation of Capricorn.

The Makara is a mythical creature with the head of an elephant and the body of a fish. The Makara is the Goddess Ganga's vahana or vehicle. In astrology, the makara is often translated as a Water Horse, and corresponds to the western astrological sign of Capricorn, which is depicted as having the head of a goat and the body of a fish. Yet another depiction of the makara is in the form of a crocodile or alligator, which also is depicted as the vehicle of Lord Varuna - the God of winds.

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This asana is commonly mistranslated as Crocodile Pose. Recently some teachers have also begun calling it the Dolphin Pose or the Porpoise Pose. Some authors suggest to call this posture "Sea Serpent Pose." Unless the translation suggests the role of the legendary entity called "Makara", the rich nuances can be lost, especially those refering to the second chakra.

Denizen of the deep, the makara is the vehicle for the ruling energy of the second chakra, the svadhishthana chakra, which manifests on the physical plane in the genitals and lower back. Svadhishthana means “her own abode,” referring to kundalini shakti, who rightfully resides in the watery world of the second chakra—the realm of desire and the primal creative urge. In this chakra the makara represents the ferocious, bestial power of desire which all too often may drive us to ruin. And yet, when properly directed, it is also the very current that carries us through life with joy and spontaneity and connects us to the creative power of the universe.

Presentation

The basic principle is to be lying down on the back. The arms are parallel to the boy, palms upward, arms stretched and eyelids closed with the eyes in Maddya Drishti. The crocodiles include numerous sequences. All of them have in common a simultaneous rotation of the hips on one side and of the head on the other side. All of them also require the constant awareness of the glabella point and of a sensation of inner immobility. Finally, all of them require a constant Mula Bandha.

Sequence 1

The starting point is with the legs stretched, and the right one on the left one.

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Exhale without moving. Inhale, hold the breathing and rotate the feet to the right and the head to the left. This leads to a torsion of the spine. Ideally, both feet and side of the head touch the ground. Bring the awareness in the glabella point and intensify the root tension. Still in full-lung retention, inverse the position. Finally, during the exhalation, come back to the original position. This double movement is repeated thrice. Then, the position of the feet is inverse and the double movement is repeated thrice again. In other words, the sequence consists of 3X2X2 or 12 basic movements.

Movements of the feet to the right and the head to the left

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Movements of the feet to the left and head to the right

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Sequence 2

Here, the right heel comes on the toes of the left foot. All movements and energy works are identical to Series 1.

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Movements of the feet to the right and the head to the left

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Movements of the feet to the left and head to the right

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Sequence 3

The right leg is bent so that the right heel comes below the left knee.

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Small rotation of the knee to the right and the head to the left

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Wide rotation of the knee to the left and head to the right

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Sequence 4

The legs are bent, sole of the feet on the ground, spread apart by the length of the fibula

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Movements of the knees to the right and the head to the left

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Movements of the knees to the left and head to the right

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Sequence 5

The legs are bent. The feet touch one another and must not loose contact throughout the movements. From this sequence, there is no inversion since the motion to the right and left is perfectly balanced. Therefore, it is suggested to practice six complete motions. All other aspects are identical to Sequence 1 (rotations during full-lung retention and return to initial position in exhalation).

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Same movement as previous one

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Same movement on the other side

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Sequence 6

The knees are held by the elbows. The lumbar area is flat on the ground. The whole body is compact.

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Same movement as previous one

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Same movement on the other side

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Sequence 7

This sequence consists in rocking the trunk using the legs as balancing.

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The rocking

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The return in full-lung retention