Journey to Pincha Mayurasana
Disclaimer - remember to practice at your own pace and listen to your body. If anything hurts or pinches, come out of the pose safely and rest in balasana (child's pose).
pinca = feather
mayura = peacock
Pincha Mayurasana or forearm balance proves for many, to be a fairly elusive asana. It requires strength, core and shoulder stability alongside good balance and courage. But with a strong foundation and (of course) practice it may prove easier than you might think.
We asked CAMYOGA teacher, James Downs to show us how he gets into Pincha.
Pincha Mayurasana Step-by-Step
1. Set yourself up by coming into Dolphin with a brick or block between the palms. (Dolphin is similar to Downward Facing Dog, but with forearms flat on the floor and parallel to the long sides of the mat).
Squeeze the brick with your palms concentrating on broadening and stabilising the shoulders. Push the forearms firmly into the mat which will enable you to lift the crown of the head away from the floor.
Build strength by taking 5-10 breaths in this posture and then coming back down into child's pose and repeat 2-3 times.
2. Flash Prep! Remove the block and then from Dolphin lift the left leg high - keep the shoulders strong and your core engaged.
If you'd like to go further, start walking the opposite hand towards the grounded foot and maybe grab hold of the heel. Breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Try a balance: Right forearm presses firmly into the mat, left arm at a right angle palm pressing down (think chaturanga alignment). See if you can lift the right leg and use the left tricep (upper arm) as a ledge to rest your left knee on - right leg lifting high.
3. Once you've done your conditioning (previous steps). It's time to try the full posture!
Start with your solid dolphin pose, bend one knee and keeping the other leg straight do a couple of bunny hops to get the feeling of going upside down. This may be where you stay, but eventually, you'll feel more comfortable and maybe even get both legs straight!
If you're worried about falling, you can always try this against a wall (palms facing the wall) but be mindful that you're not overarching or banana-ing your back.
Another way to try this against the wall is with dolphin against the wall. Come into dolphin with heels touching the wall. When you feel stable here, place the sole of the left foot onto the wall - your body and leg at a right angle, then bring the right foot up to meet it. Try lifting each leg up and maybe both at the same time!