Pincha Mayurasana is an inversion and a balance that requires strength in the core, open shoulders and, as most inversions do – a fearless mind.
I can still remember the exhilarating feeling I had when I held my first wall free and assist free forearm stand. It was one of the asanas I admired the most back in the day when I used to practice Ashtanga. But, it wasn’t the asana I celebrated. It was my realization that with discipline, which I painfully lacked during my teens, and dedication, which also wasn’t my strong suit, I could do anything I want.
Before you begin
Before you attempt any advanced asana warm up with some Surya Namaskars. I would also suggest to do a few standing asanas like Virabhadrasana I, High lunge and Virabhadrasana III, and hold them for full five breaths. This will help you ground and find your balance. Core work is also needed to activate your strength. Forearm planks and bakasana are a great prep for Pincha.
Step one (photo 1)
Open your shoulders using the wall. Pincha Mayurasana requires a good range of flexion in the shoulder joint. This is a nice opening that allows you to work on flexibility while avoiding too much weight in the joint. To measure the distance of your feet you can sit down with your back leaning to the wall and extended legs, note the place where your feet were and place them there when you stand up for this shoulder opening. Aim the top of the head to the wall and the heart to the floor.
Step two (photo 2)
This supported handstand will give you the necessary balance and an inverted perspective. It’s a good practice to exhale fear of being upside down. Place your hands where your feet were in the first asana (measure again in you need to), step one foot on the wall just behind your sitting bones, than the other. Feel the weight more on your feet than on your arms. You can play with dropping one leg toward the floor but not all the way down to awaken your core.
Step three (photo 3)
You’re ready for your Pincha! Start from the dolphin pose, make sure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders, your shoulders are open and your neck is long. Use your forearms to push the floor and lift up. Gaze to the floor in between your forearms. Lift one leg, bend the one remaining on the floor and do small jumps using the strength in your arms to lengthen up and your core to lift you up. Once you’re up work on lifting up from the shoulders to the heels. Keep your pelvis neutral and your core strong to avoid banana shaped PinchasJ.