The peacock is a potent metaphor for the alchemical power of yoga in the ancient yoga scriptures. One of the 15 original poses profiled in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, peacock pose is not only an awesome looking arm balance, but also as a means to eliminate old age and death.
हरति सकल–रोगानाशु गुल्मोदरादीन
अभिभवति छ दोष्हानासनं शरी–मयूरम |
बहु कदशन–भुक्तं भस्म कुर्यादशेष्हं
जनयति जठराग्निं जारयेत्काल–कूटम || ३३ ||
harati sakala-roghānāśu ghulmodarādīn
abhibhavati cha doṣhānāsanaṃ śrī-mayūram |
bahu kadaśana-bhuktaṃ bhasma kuryādaśeṣhaṃ
janayati jaṭharāghniṃ jārayetkāla-kūṭam || 33 ||
The eminent among all for removing every disease, quickly making them dwindle away.
It makes the power in the belly invincible, and overcomes every imbalance of the humours
It enables your body to break down even large amounts of food, and that which has not been
chewed enough. It kindles the fire in the belly, crushing even old age, and the lord of death as well.
We ran into this particular free range peacock, dominating a small playground in the South of France, at the Institute of Vajra Yogini.
How to perform the pose:
1. Get to the peacock’s eye level by kneeling down on the grass. Turn your fingers back towards the feet, bringing the pinky side of the hands together.
2. Soften your elbows into your belly as you stretch your legs back. The more you are able to relax your belly, the more stable your pose will be. The elbows will sink into your abdomen which will both stabilize the pose and give you a deep abdominal massage that increases your digestive fire.
3. Pause with both legs outstretched and allow the elbows to trigger the mulabandha and uddiyana bandha. Feel a line of energy connecting the inner thighs to the belly and feel the body weight shift out of the legs. DO NOT KICK UP. If you cannot find the pose here, do not proceed further.
4. When all the bandhas are in place, you can float up simply by shifting your weight forward slightly.
5. If the pose is performed correctly, the peacock will turn to pose for the camera so that you can see the visual relationship between your own tail feathers and his!*
* This is not a verifiable fact.