Feathered Peacock Pose or the Peacock Pose, also known as Pincha Mayurasana, is a challenging but immensely beneficial inversion forearm balance pose. The asana gets its name from the Sanskrit terms ‘pincha’ meaning feathered, ‘mayur’ meaning peacock, and ‘asana’ meaning posture.
In this pose, keep your shoulder blades lifted and broadened while pressing your forearms, wrist, and palms into the ground for a strong, supportive base. Pull your navel in towards your spine and squeeze your knees together, then allow your head to relax and hang between your triceps. Beginners might find it helpful to stay near a wall while learning to find balance in Pincha Mayurasana.
As you become stronger physically in Forearm Balance, your confidence and patience will also become stronger, giving you the ability to try other poses that you might not have thought possible.
Kneel down on your yoga mat about 4 inches away from a wall. Bend over and put your elbows, forearms and the palms of your hands on the mat in front of you. Spread your fingers and point them straight ahead. Keep your elbows and hands in a straight line, and your elbows must remain directly below your shoulders. Rotate your upper shoulders out, spreading your chest wide.
Lift your knees up off of the ground and stretch your legs straight behind you, lifting your hips up as high in the air as you can. Imagine that your legs are performing Adho Mukha Shvanasana, or Downward-Dog Pose. Focus on lifting your shoulders away from the floor while tightly pulling your shoulder blades into your back. Lift your head and look up at the wall right in front of you, which helps you to start creating an arch that extends up through your entire spine.
As you continue lifting your hips back and up, take a breath. On your next exhalation, practice hopping your legs up at first until you feel confident enough to kick your legs up over your head. Then put one foot slightly toward the midline of your body, bend that knee and push your body up forcefully while using that leg as a spring to launch both of your legs up. As one leg helps to spring you up, the other leg stays straight and swings up automatically after the other.
You can help create extra momentum to kick up by extending your spine as far back as you can, pressing your heels down to the floor first. Then swing your hips forward at the same time that you kick your legs up. You heels will now rest on the wall above your head.
Practice alternating between kicking up with your right leg as the spring and kicking with your left leg as the spring. This way, you'll develop strength evenly in both legs.
When your weight is entirely on your forearms, continue pulling your shoulders up from the floor and push back away from the wall onto your elbows. Keep your legs together and your toes pointed. Do not relax your legs after your feet come into contact with the wall. Instead, go on engaging your thigh muscles to maintain straight legs. Then push your legs up and keep lengthening your back. Pull your navel in toward your spine as well.
Remain in this posture for about 15 seconds. As you build up your stamina, then you can practice holding Pincha Mayurasana for up to one minute. Then to come out of the pose, exhale and lower one leg down at a time.
Benefits and Contraindications
Strengthens the arms, shoulders, core, and back
Practicing it improves your balance and helps you overcome your fear of falling
The forearm stand can also provide musculoskeletal benefits, including strengthened spinal muscles and improved spine alignment.1
High blood pressure
Neck, shoulder, or back injuries
Photo poses in different angles
Modifications, Props & Tips
Since this pose is difficult to do, usually most people start doing half the pose which is an acceptable variation.
You can also use the wall as a scale to raise yourself. Use the wall to mark where your shoulders and legs should be. Then, use the wall as a guide and put your feet on the wall. Slowly walk the length of the wall while supporting yourself with your elbows as explained in the steps. Once you reach the position, hold it for few seconds. This can be done till you are able to raise yourself without any support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pincha Mayurasana difficult?
Yes, Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand) is considered challenging as it requires upper body strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Success in this pose often comes with practice and gradual progression.
How long does it take to learn Pincha Mayurasana?
The time it takes to learn Pincha Mayurasana varies widely based on individual factors such as strength, flexibility, and prior yoga experience. Consistent practice and gradual progression are key to mastering this pose, and it may take months or even years for some individuals.
Is pincha mayurasana harder than handstand?
The difficulty between Pincha Mayurasana and Handstand varies, with individual factors influencing the challenge. Both poses demand strength, balance, and practice, and difficulty may differ for each person.
A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it.
In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings.
After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva.
To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics.
Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga.
At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.