Sunday, 28 June 2015

How I Learned Mayurasana Without Practicing

It has taken me a long time to get to a full mayurasana like this one.  Scroll down to the end of the post to see a cool video of how to transition out of gomukhasana via mayurasana, which we practice in my current sequence.

The funny thing is less than six months ago I was trying this pose in the park and I could not extend my legs fully.

The only way I could do the pose was to have bent knees or put them into a bind like padmasana.  Below is a photo taken of me earlier in the year that shows my best effort.

On that day in February it seemed to me unlikely, perhaps even impossible, that I would manage a fuller variation of the posture.

So what changed?

Did I start practicing mayruasana every day?

Actually, no.  I don't remember doing mayurasana very much or at all since then.

The main difference, and what I perceive has made the most difference, is in my last sequence (just finished) I mixed up my surya namaskar slightly.

I like to introduce a little change each sequence--not so much in the poses themselves but the transitions between them or how long we hold them for.

The last sequence I worked with holding my high planks for longer, then incorporated a double push-up with good technique (on my knees most of the time) before lowering to the ground for a shalabhasana variation (prone extension with hands by side).

There were no mayurasanas in my last sequence so there is no doubt that my improved mayruasana was not due to practicing mayurasana.

I am reminded of the time I stopped practicing padmasana because I could not come into it without using my hands.

Instead I worked with good technique in standing postures and one day I decided to try padmasana without hands again and to my surprise I was able to do it.

So it happened today that I tried mayurasana and realised, hey, my legs are straight here!

Mayruasana is a challenge for a lot of women, who tend to be bottom heavy.

In my understanding that is why it is easier for women (but not easy) to come into the pose with knees wide and bent.

The variation I show in my video might work for those who can come into gomukhasana and then perhaps transition to the other side using a gomukhu-mayurasana pose.

This posture is strong on the wrists and you need to have developed a good ability to hold your body weight on your hands without straining the wrists before you try.

I will run through this in class and at my upcoming retreats in Sri Lanka and Bali (, but, for now, watch the video and note the placement of elbows somewhere just below the navel, the distance of the knees from the hands, that I am pressing strongly with my fingertips, and that I am maintaining a sense of ease and comfort within a challenging posture.

Look forward to seeing you somewhere soon!

Happy and safe practicing.

Much metta,

1 comment:

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