This pose requires extreme flexibility in the hips and backs of the legs, but just attempting this pose, and taking it as far as you can will do wonders for a tight lower back. Its purpose is not to turn you into a pretzel, but rather to deeply stretch your lower back and hamstrings.
Opens and stretches the hips
Stretches the inner groins
Lengthens and helps to realign the spine
Calms the mind and relieves stress
Strengthens the arms and shoulders
To learn this pose:
Begin lying flat on your back.
Bend both knees and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs. Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest but keep everything relaxed. This pose is called Happy Baby, and it’s a great prep for Sleeping Yogi.
From here, move your arms to the insides of your legs. Use both hands to help your left knee come behind your left shoulder, and eventually your foot behind your head. Then bring the right knee behind your right shoulder, and your right ankle behind your left ankle.
Whether both legs are behind your head or not, bring both hands to your lower back, and try to clasp them together.
Stay like this for five deep breaths. To release, bring both legs to the floor. For a counter-pose, do Fish.
12. Peacock Variation | Mayurasana
This is one arm balancing Yoga posture so requires a lot of wrist and core strength. This is a very advanced posture and requires a lot of practice. Breath is very important in any posture. People generally forget to breathe while doing difficult posture, once you teach your body to breathe, it becomes easy.
Improves the digestion
Cures dyspepsia and diseases of stomach like Gulma
Tones the abdomen
Improves sluggishness liver function
Tones the bowels, removes constipation
Strengthens the wrists and forearms
Strengthens the back torso and legs
To learn this pose:
Start with Vajrasana.
Separate your knees and place the right hand in between the knees, the fingers should be pointing outwards.
Bring your knees back and place the left hand forward on the ground. Bend your right elbow and rotate the elbow inside and place it near the naval, the closer the better.
Pressing your elbow against your stomach straighten your knees point your toes back, join both feet and stretch your hands forwards. (If your back gets rounded then it will be difficult to get into the posture)
Keeping your body straight and tight try to shift your weight forward, as you lean forward your feet will come up (avoid jumping into the posture, because of the momentum you might loose the balance). Try to remain in the posture for as long as possible.
Come back down, and relax in Shashankasana for a few breaths and then try with the other hand.