Makarasana is an excellent restorative pose to take to relax the muscles in the body and to reduce one’s heart rate. Practiced on the tummy, the crocodile pose is a relaxation pose that promotes calmness in the mind without pushing you to fall asleep.
Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
Known as the vehicle of Varuna and God of the ocean, Makara means crocodile or a huge sea animal, when translated from Sanskrit. Makarasana, or crocodile pose, is a great beginner pose that can be practiced to relax the body and mind.
Crocodile Pose Directions:
The following steps will help you get into the crocodile pose with comfort and ease:
- Start by lying down on your stomach with the front of your chest in contact with the floor or the mat. Your legs will be extended out straight and your arms can be placed beside your sides.
- Keeping the legs a few inches apart, relax your feet by keeping your toes together and heels apart. Make sure you are feeling comfortable as you get into this pose.
- Bending the elbows, bring the arms out in front of your head. Bring your forearms and hands together and place your palms on top of one another.
- Rest your forehead on your palms to get into this crocodile pose. You have the option to massage your head by rocking it from side to side for a few seconds or however long you feel comfortable doing so.
- Focus on your breathing and relax in the Asana for 3–5 minutes.
Crocodile Pose Modifications:
While the crocodile pose works to induce relaxation, not everyone finds this pose comfortable and some modifications need to be made in order to increase comfort.
If you are having trouble lying comfortably on your belly, using a blanket or pillow under your chest as a modification to the pose.
Benefits of Crocodile Pose:
We often neglect to give our bodies and mind the relaxation they need to rejuvenate and refresh themselves. Crocodile pose is a good pose to take to induce relaxation in the muscles and the overall body.
Added benefits of crocodile pose include the following:
- Reduces feelings of anxiety and stress
- Combats insomnia
- Aids digestion
- Helps improve blood circulation, especially in the spine
- Promotes relaxation in the muscles
- Lowers blood pressure
- Stimulates the abdominal organs
- Facilitates diaphragmatic breathing
- Fights to reduce PMS symptoms
Crocodile Pose Precautions:
While the crocodile pose brings positive effects like boosting relaxation and digestion, there are various situations where one must avoid practicing this pose.
It is recommended to avoid this pose under the following circumstances:
- If you are pregnant; the pressure put on the tummy may not be healthy and safe for pregnant women
- If you suffer from cardiac problems
- If you are experiencing any stomach problems
- High blood pressure
1. How can one practice the crocodile pose?
Crocodile pose is a great pose to induce relaxation, especially to the muscles. This pose is taken on the tummy. Follow the instructions above to practice crocodile pose and become familiar with the pose in no time.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/06/2018
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Courtesy The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (E), Mumbai