Makarasana, also known as Crocodile Pose, is a yoga asana that is performed in a prone position. This pose is named after the crocodile as it resembles the floating and relaxing position of a crocodile in water. It is an excellent pose for beginners and helps to relieve stress and anxiety.
Meaning of Makarasana and Where it Came From
The word “Makara” means “crocodile” in Sanskrit. It is said that the pose was derived from the natural posture of crocodiles, which are known for their relaxed floating position in water. Makarasana is an ancient yoga pose that has been practiced in India for centuries.
When To Practice Makarasana
Makarasana can be practiced at any time of the day. It is particularly beneficial when practiced in the morning or evening as it helps to relax the mind and body. This asana is ideal for those who suffer from stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
Step by Step guide How to do Makarasana
To perform Makarasana, follow the steps below:
- Lie down on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Place your palms under your shoulders, elbows close to your sides, and forearms on the floor.
- Inhale deeply and raise your head and shoulders off the floor.
- Place your chin on the floor and relax your neck.
- Breathe normally and stay in this position for 30-60 seconds.
- Exhale and release the pose.
Some common mistakes that people make while performing Makarasana include:
- Raising the hips: Keep your hips on the floor throughout the pose.
- Tension in the neck: Keep your neck relaxed and comfortable.
- Closing your eyes: Keep your eyes open and focused on a fixed point.
Suggested preparatory asanas
Some suggested preparatory asanas that can be practiced before Makarasana include:
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Bitilasana (Cow Pose)
Suggested follow-up asanas
Some suggested follow-up asanas that can be practiced after Makarasana include:
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Pro Tips for Beginners
Some pro tips for beginners to help them get the most out of their Makarasana practice include:
- Focus on your breathing: Take deep breaths and focus on your breath as you hold the pose.
- Relax your body: Allow your body to sink into the floor and let go of any tension.
- Use props: If you have difficulty getting comfortable in the pose, use a cushion or bolster under your chin.
Makarasana is generally a safe pose to practice, but it should be avoided by those who suffer from the following conditions:
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Knee injury
Modifications & Variations
Some modifications and variations of Makarasana include:
- Using a cushion or bolster under your chest for support.
- Raising your legs off the floor to deepen the stretch.
- Placing a block or pillow under your forehead for extra support.
Some precautions that should be taken while practicing Makarasana include:
- Do not force yourself into the pose if you experience any pain or discomfort.
- Keep your movements slow and controlled, avoiding any sudden jerks or movements.
- Practice the pose under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher.
- Avoid practicing Makarasana on a full stomach.
If you experience any discomfort, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
20 Health benefits of Makarasana
- Reduces stress and anxiety: Makarasana helps to calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Improves posture: This pose helps to improve posture by strengthening the back muscles.
- Relieves lower back pain: Makarasana helps to relieve lower back pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles.
- Boosts digestion: This pose stimulates the digestive system and helps to improve digestion.
- Relaxes the body: Makarasana helps to relax the muscles and release tension in the body.
- Improves blood circulation: This pose helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body.
- Reduces fatigue: Makarasana helps to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels.
- Improves concentration: This pose helps to improve concentration and focus.
- Relieves menstrual cramps: Makarasana helps to relieve menstrual cramps and discomfort.
- Strengthens the immune system: This pose helps to strengthen the immune system and improve overall health.
- Reduces insomnia: Makarasana helps to reduce insomnia and improve sleep quality.
- Improves lung capacity: This pose helps to improve lung capacity and respiratory function.
- Relieves sciatica pain: Makarasana helps to relieve sciatica pain and discomfort.
- Reduces headache: This pose helps to reduce headache and migraine pain.
- Improves flexibility: Makarasana helps to improve flexibility in the back and hips.
- Strengthens the abdominal muscles: This pose helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and improve core strength.
- Reduces hypertension: Makarasana helps to reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure.
- Improves kidney function: This pose helps to improve kidney function and detoxify the body.
- Relieves shoulder pain: Makarasana helps to relieve shoulder pain and tension.
- Enhances overall wellbeing: By practicing Makarasana regularly, one can enhance overall physical and mental wellbeing.
FAQ on Makarasana
Q: What is Makarasana?
A: Makarasana is a yoga pose also known as Crocodile Pose.
Q: What are the benefits of Makarasana?
A: Makarasana offers a range of benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, improving posture, relieving lower back pain, boosting digestion, relaxing the body, and improving concentration.
Q: How is Makarasana performed?
A: Makarasana is performed by lying on the stomach and placing the arms and legs in a relaxed position.
Q: Is Makarasana suitable for beginners?
A: Yes, Makarasana is a beginner-friendly pose.
Q: How long should Makarasana be held?
A: Makarasana can be held for 2-5 minutes.
Q: Can Makarasana be performed by people with back injuries?
A: It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before practicing Makarasana if you have any back injuries.
Q: What is the Sanskrit name for Makarasana?
A: The Sanskrit name for Makarasana is Makarasana.
Q: Can Makarasana be performed during pregnancy?
A: Pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider before practicing Makarasana.
Q: Is Makarasana a restorative pose?
A: Yes, Makarasana is a restorative pose.
Q: How often should Makarasana be practiced?
A: Makarasana can be practiced daily for best results.
Q: What are the preparatory asanas for Makarasana?
A: Preparatory asanas for Makarasana include Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana.
Q: What are the follow-up asanas for Makarasana?
A: Follow-up asanas for Makarasana include Balasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana.
Q: Can Makarasana be modified for people with limited mobility?
A: Yes, Makarasana can be modified by using props such as blankets and bolsters.
Q: Can Makarasana be practiced by people with high blood pressure?
A: People with high blood pressure should consult their healthcare provider before practicing Makarasana.
Q: What are the pro tips for beginners practicing Makarasana?
A: Pro tips for beginners include practicing under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher and avoiding any sudden movements or discomfort.
Q: How does Makarasana help to relieve stress and anxiety?
A: Makarasana helps to calm the mind and relax the body, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Q: Can Makarasana be practiced by people with neck injuries?
A: People with neck injuries should consult their healthcare provider before practicing Makarasana.
Q: How does Makarasana help to improve digestion?
A: Makarasana stimulates the digestive system and helps to improve digestion.
Q: What are the precautions to be taken while practicing Makarasana?
A: Precautions to be taken include avoiding any sudden movements or discomfort and practicing under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher.
Q: Can Makarasana be practiced by people with knee injuries?
A: Yes, Makarasana can be practiced by people with knee injuries, but modifications may be necessary. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before practicing.