Mayur means Peacock in Sanskrit. When this Asana is exhibited, it resembles a peacock which has spread out the bundle of feathers at its back. This is a little more difficult than Sarvangasana and Matsyasana. This demands good physical strength. Gymnasts can do this very easily. This corresponds more or less to plank exercise on the parallel bars.
Kneel on the ground. Squat on the toes. Raise the heels up. Join the two forearms together. Place the palms of the two hands on the ground. The two little fingers must be in close opposition or juxtaposition. The thumbs should touch the ground. They should project towards the feet.
Now you have got steady and firm forearms for supporting the whole body in the ensuing elevation of the trunk and legs. Now bring down the abdomen slowly against the conjoined elbows. Support your body upon your elbows that are pressed now against the navel or umbilicus. This is the first stage. Stretch your legs and raise the feet straight on a level with the head, parallel to the ground. This is the second stage.
Neophytes (beginners) find it difficult to keep up the balance as soon as they raise the feet off the ground. Place a cushion in front. Sometimes you will have a fall forwards and you may hurt your nose slightly. Try to slip on the sides when you cannot keep up the balance. If you find it difficult to stretch the two legs backwards at one stroke, slowly stretch one leg first and then the other. If you adopt the device of leaning the body forwards and head downwards, the feet will by themselves leave the ground and you can stretch them quite easily. When the Asana is in full manifestation, the head, trunk, buttocks, thighs, legs and feet will be in one straight line and parallel to the ground. This posture is very beautiful to look at.
Beginners can practise this Asana by holding the sides of a cot. They will find it easy to practise in this way. If you use your common-sense, you can easily keep up the balance without much difficulty. Fatty people must be cautious to avoid falls or slips. Do not jerk the feet when you stretch them.
Practise this Asana from 5 to 20 seconds. Those who have good physical strength can do for 2 or 3 minutes.
Retain the breath when you raise the body. It will give you immense strength. When you finish the Asana, exhale slowly.
Mayurasana has got a charm of its own. It braces you up quickly. It gives you full exercise within a few seconds. It serves like a hypodermic injection of Adrenalin or Digitalin.
This is a wonderful Asana for improving the digestion. It destroys the effects of unwholesome food. It increases the digestive power. It digests even the terrible Halahala poison and destroys its terrible effects. It cures dyspepsia and diseases of stomach like Gulma (chronic gastritis), and reduces splenic and liver-enlargement by increasing the intra-abdominal pressure. The lungs and whole abdominal Viscera (organs) are properly toned and stimulated by the increase of intra-abdominal pressure. Sluggishness of liver or hepatic torpidity disappears. It tones the bowels, removes constipation (ordinary, chronic and habitual) and awakens Kundalini.
It gives wonderful appetite, removes all diseases caused by an excess of wind, bile or phlegm, cures diabetes, hemorrhoids and strengthens the muscles of the arms. This one Asana can give you maximum physical exercise in the minimum time.