Makarasana is very effective for people suffering from slipped disc, sciatica and certain types of lower back pain. They should remain in this asana for extended periods of time as it encourages the vertebral column to resume its normal shape and releases compression of the spinal nerves
- Lie flat on the stomach
- Raise the head and shoulders and rest the chin in the palms of the hands with the elbows on the floor
- Keep the elbows together for a more pronounced arch to the spine
- Separate the elbows slightly to relieve excess pressure on the neck
In Makrasana the effect is felt at two points: the neck and the lower back.
If the elbows are too far in front, tension will be felt in the neck. If they are drawn too close to the chest, tension will be felt more in the lower back.
Adjust the position of the elbows so that these two points are equally balanced.
Benefits of Makarasana:
Asthmatics and people who have any other lung ailments should practise this simple asana regularly with breath awareness as it allows more air to enter the lungs.
Those with back conditions such as exagerated lumbar curve should not practise this asana if any pain is experienced.
To be sure that you practise an asana correctly, we recommend participating in our Yoga Teacher Training Program.
Important Notes About Your Asana Practice
Did you know that Makrasana is ideally performed towards the end of your asana practice? It is especially helpful to release lumbar and thoracic tensions. When you practised a lot of backbends and forward bends, Crocodile Pose is the perfect cooling down pose to relax and remove tightness. As you know, in hatha yoga, the class moves from intro, over to warm-up, to the sun salutations, to the asanas, to the cool down and to the final Shavasana. Makrasana is a post-main practice pose that can be also incorporated as counter-pose to forward folds (eg. Paschimottanasana, Balasana, Janu Shirshasana).
When you practise Makrasana, you can adjust the posture according to your need. If you walk your elbows little in or out, the spinal release changes. The further you bring your elbows away from your chest, the more central you will feel the release in your spine. On the other hand, if you move your elbows closer to your chest, the your lower back will be more relaxed and counter-posed.