Makarasana (MAH-kuhr-AWS-ah-nuh) is a yoga pose commonly referred to as the crocodile pose. While makar means crocodile, asana means pose.
The makarasana yoga pose is a great way to address your shoulder and back problems. It resembles the resting position of a crocodile, with its neck and face raised above the surface of the water. This asana is usually practiced to ease the strain caused by performing other poses. So, ending your yoga session with makarasana is the best practice. In this article, we give you a step-by-step how-to guide to do this pose, precautions to be taken, and some tips to make it easier. Keep reading!
In This Article
All You Need To Know About Makarasana
- What You Should Know Before Practicing Makarasana
- How To Do The Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)
- Precautions To Be Taken
- Tips For Beginners
- Advanced Variations Of Makarasana
- Benefits Of Makarasana
- Preparatory Poses
- Follow-Up Poses
1. What You Should Know Before Practicing Makarasana
Makarasana is practiced at the end of a yoga session to cool down the body and give it the necessary rest. So, it is best to practice Makarasana early in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. In case you are not able to practice it in the morning, you can do it in the evenings after a three to four-hour gap from your last meal. If you want to practice only Makarasana, it is not necessary that your stomach must be empty.
Style: Hatha Yoga
Duration: 2-5 minutes
Strengthens: Spine, Shoulders, Arms, And Chest
Improves: Spinal strength, flexibility, back pain, and slip disc. It is beneficial for all spine-related problems.
Stretches: Legs, Chest Muscles, Back Muscles, And Buttocks
2. How To Do The Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)
- Lie down on the floor on your stomach.
- Fold your hands and keep the tip of the elbows on the ground with your fingers facing upwards. Keep your elbows shoulder distance apart.
- Now, raise your shoulders and head. Keep your neck straight and look ahead.
- Bend your head a little forward and place your chin in your palms.
- Stretch out your legs with the toes facing outwards. Feel your body touching the ground.
- Breathe normally and slowly and relax your muscles.
- Stay in the asana for a few minutes until you feel completely relaxed.
- To release from the position, gently remove your palms from the chin, bring your shoulders and head down, and roll over.
3. Precautions To Be Taken
Make sure that your body is comfortable while practicing the asana. If you have a serious back injury, it is best to avoid Makarasana. For those with neck injuries, avoid any pressure or support for the neck and let it stand neutral. Otherwise, place a folded blanket around the neck as support during the asana.
If you are suffering from serious injuries and deep psychological issues, it is best to avoid the asana. Practice it only after consulting your doctor and under the supervision of a yoga teacher.
4. Tips For Beginners
Initially, it might be tough to balance yourself in the pose. You might shuffle a bit due to imbalance. To avoid this, use your hands for support and raise them to complete the asana. With practice, your balance will improve, and you can assume the pose in the correct manner.
As Makarasana is a relaxing pose assumed at the end of a yoga session, it is very easy to fall asleep in it. Keep yourself awake and let your body relax.
5. Advanced Variations Of Makarasana
- You can proceed to the Shalabhasana or the Locust Pose as a variation to Makarasana.
- All you need to do is take off your palms from the face, stretch out your arms forward without bending, and keep the palms facing each other. Turn your head down till your ears are parallel to the arms. Now, lift off your legs from the floor at a 60-degree angle and hold the pose.
- Another variation is to go deeper into the Crocodile Pose. Raise your legs and bend them at the knees, bringing the soles of your feet towards your buttocks. The pelvic area must be perpendicular to the floor. Then, lift your torso by stretching your arms.
6. Benefits Of Makarasana
- Makarasana offers deep relaxation for your shoulders and spine
- It can treat asthma and any lung-related issues
- It helps in curing slip disc, spondylitis, and sciatica
- The asana stretches the hip muscles
- It relaxes your body completely and keeps you rejuvenated
- It relieves the body and the mind of tension
- Makarasana treats hypertension, heart diseases, and mental disorders
- It stretches the muscles of the abdomen, chest, and neck, relieving fatigue and aches in those areas
- The asana keeps backache at bay
- Makarasana helps you to breathe slowly, efficiently, and deeply
- It keeps you alert
- The asana turns your mind inward, calming it and preventing anxiety
- Makarasana releases all the tight knots in your body and makes it flexible
7. Preparatory Poses
8. Follow-Up Poses
Makarasana yoga helps relax the body and is usually done at the end of a yoga session. The pose, resembling a resting crocodile, helps relieve the tension in the body and the mind, reduces lung issues like asthma, treats knee pains, slipped disc, spondylitis, high blood pressure, heart issues, and mental illness disorders, reduces fatigue, etc. Do not do this pose if you have a back injury, and use a folded blanket as a support if you have neck issues. For effective results, always do this relaxing pose on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning. Try advanced poses of makarasana once you cross the beginner level.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Makarasana a prone pose?
Yes. You must lie in the prone position (lying face down) to do makarasana.