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Yoga Poses

Feathered Peacock Pose | Forearm Balance

You may know Pincha Mayurasana or Feathered Peacock Pose by one of its common aliases: Forearm or Elbow Balance.

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Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock or Forearm Balance Pose) offers improved circulation, a calm mind, less stress, and better digestion.

In this pose, keep your shoulder blades lifted and broadened while pressing your forearms, wrist, and palms into the ground for a strong, supportive base. Pull your navel in towards your spine and squeeze your knees together, then allow your head to relax and hang between your triceps. Beginners might find it helpful to stay near a wall while learning to find balance in Pincha Mayurasana. 

As you become stronger physically in Forearm Balance, your confidence and patience will also become stronger, giving you the ability to try other poses that you might not have thought possible.

Feathered Peacock basics

Sanskrit: Pincha Mayurasana (pin-cha my-your-AHS-anna)

Other name: Forearm Balance, Elbow Balance

Pose type: Inversion

Targets: Full body

Why we love it: “This inversion is beautiful, invigorating, and addictive—just like a yoga practice or the prospect of love,” says Tracy Middleton, Yoga Journal‘s brand director. “Problem is, it takes time, effort, and awareness to properly achieve and honor the pose. Oh yeah, just like our practice and love.”

Pose benefits

Feathered Peacock improves postural and body awareness, circulation (both lymphatic and venous), and your posture. It can boost energy and fight fatigue and build confidence and empowerment. Feathered Peacock mainly strengthens your core, back, chest, arms, shoulders, thighs, and buttocks (glutes).

Become a member today to access Yoga Journal’s comprehensive Pose Library, which blends expert insights from top teachers with video instruction, anatomy know-how, variations, and more for 50+ poses, including Feathered Peacock Pose. It’s a resource you’ll return to again and again.

Feathered Peacock Pose: Step-by-step instructions

  1. If you are new to this pose, practice against a wall for support. Start in Tabletop with your palms and forearms on the floor. Your forearms should be parallel to each other at shoulder width.
  2. Bend one left knee and step that foot in, keeping the other leg active by extending through the heel. Take a few practice hops.
  3. Sweep your active leg up while you kick your other foot off the floor, immediately pushing through the heel to straighten your leg. Try this several times, each time pushing off the floor a little higher.
  4. Eventually you will be able to kick all the way up. You may crash into it at first, but with practice you’ll be able to swing your heels up lightly.
  5. Stay in the pose 10 to 15 seconds, working your way up to 1 minute. When you come down, try not to sink into the shoulders, and remove one foot at a time.

Beginner’s tip

If you find it difficult to prevent your elbows from sliding away from each other in this pose, buckle a strap and loop it over your upper arms, just above your elbows. Extend your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder width and adjust the strap so that it hugs your outer arms. Then use the strap in the pose, but think of pushing the arms slightly in, away from the strap, rather than letting them bulge out into it.

Variation: Dolphin Pose

Woman performing Dolphin Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

To help build up strength and stamina for Feathered Peacock, practice Dolphin Pose. On your hands and knees, bring your forearms to the ground with your fingers optionally interlaced. Lift your hips up and back. Relax your head and neck as you press your forearms into the floor. Stay for several breaths. Your heels may or may not reach the floor.

Preparatory poses

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Forearm Plank

Dolphin Pose

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)

Counter poses

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Learn more from our comprehensive Pose Library—which features additional cues, step-by-step video instruction, expert insights, pose variations, anatomy know-how, and more for 50+ poses, including Feathered Peacock Pose—by becoming a member. You’ll also receive exclusive content including sequences, video classes, a subscription to Yoga Journal magazine, and more.