Crocodile Pose - Makarasana


Crocodile Pose or Makarasana (MUH-KUH-RAH-SUH-NUH) is a beginner yoga pose that relaxes the whole body and helps relieve pain related to other yoga poses or other activities. By lying on your stomach with your chest and shoulders rest, you let go of tension in the lower back and open up your chest and shoulders. This pose is a great way to relieve stress.
This yoga pose can be performed as a concluding pose to end your session or sequence.
After your body is stretched and warmed from other poses, perform Crocodile Pose to return to a state of relaxation.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie on your belly, with the arms crossed under your head. Rest the forehead on the wrists of the hands.
Step 2
Close the eyes and let your whole body relax into the floor. Let the heels turn out and let the legs flop open.
Step 3
Breathe deeply, pressing the belly down into the floor with each inhalation and hold for 6-10 breaths. With each exhalation allow your body to relax deeper into the floor.
Step 4
To release: bring the palms under your shoulders and slowly press up into table or child pose or roll over onto your back.

Benefits and Contraindications


Improves breathing by opening up the chest and lungs

Reduce fatigue and promote restful sleep

Relieves stress and anxiety

Releases tension in the lower back

Stimulate the digestive organs and help improve digestion



Low blood pressure

Knee injuries

Back injuries

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Pillow or blanket: Place a pillow or folded blanket under your chest for extra support and comfort.
  • Blocks: Place two yoga blocks under your forearms to support your upper body and help release tension in the shoulders.
  • Bolster: Place a bolster or rolled-up blanket under your shins to elevate your legs and promote relaxation.

Useful Tips

  • If stacking your arms is uncomfortable,you can also stack your palms and place your forehead on the top of your hands.
  • The position of the feet will change how this pose feels.You can keep them together to make the pose more active, or allow your heels to drop to the sides if you want to fully relax.
  • If you feel any pressure in the lower back,increase the distance between your feet.
  • Focus on deep breathing,try to feel your stomach pressing into the ground with each inhale.You can also practice breath retention, holding your breath for a couple of moments before your exhalation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Crocodile Pose suitable for beginners?

Yes, Crocodile Pose is suitable for beginners. It is a gentle and relaxing pose that can be easily modified with props and adjustments.

Can Crocodile Pose help with back pain?

Crocodile Pose can help release tension in the lower back and promote relaxation, which can help reduce back pain. However, those with back injuries or conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before practicing the pose.

How long should I hold Crocodile Pose?

You can start by holding Crocodile Pose for 3-5 minutes, gradually working your way up to 10-15 minutes as you become more comfortable with the pose.

Can I practice Crocodile Pose if I'm pregnant?

Pregnant women should avoid lying on their belly and practicing Crocodile Pose. They can modify the pose by lying on their side with a pillow or bolster between their legs.

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.