Urdhva Padma Mayurasana is one heck of a pose to get into. It requires open hips, the ability to do full lotus, strong and flexible wrists, balance, and an open back. In other words, this one is not for beginners. I’ve pretty much stopped doing it myself because it compresses the back of my neck too much, but for people who are both strong and bendy, this may be a fun pose to add to their asana practice.
In this video, I demonstrate one way to get into the pose. (This is another video taken during an in-store demo, which is why there are random people walking down the sidewalk in the background.) I start by getting myself into a full lotus. Next, I turn my wrists backwards and bring my forearms together; this will be the base support for the entire pose. Then I tuck my elbows deep into my stomach, making sure they’re in there good. (If my elbows slip out in the middle of the pose, I’ll come crashing down.) Then, using my chin as the final support, I lean forward and lift my hips and legs off the ground. It’s very difficult to get into the finished pose in an elegant way, because you need to be relaxed in certain areas of your back while the muscles are fully engaged in other areas of your shoulders, back and arms. This video demonstrates my best effort at getting into the pose.
Disclaimer: I am not a certified yoga instructor, and the ideas and opinions expressed here are not intended to be formal instruction on yoga poses. If you plan to start up a yoga practice, or if you have one and plan to do any of the yoga poses described in this blog, please seek out an experienced, living, breathing yoga teacher to guide you with hands-on instruction.