Yoga Poses

Makarasana – Crocodile Pose Yoga – Steps & Benefits


Makarasana – Crocodile Pose Yoga 

Makarasana (मकरासन-Makarasana in Hindi) is also called Crocodile Pose in Yoga.  Makarasana benefits are mainly for back and spine. It is a great Asana for back pain, slipped disc sciatica. Makarasana can also be suggested to people suffering from Asthma, Bronchitis, and indigestion. It is a very good asana for beginners as it is simple and easy to perform. Makarasana is made up of Sanskrit words ‘Makar’ and ‘asana’, wherein the word ‘Makar’ means Crocodile and ‘Asana’ means a pose. This asana is called Crocodile Pose, as the final pose of this asana resembles a crocodile resting in water, keeping its face and neck above the water.

Makarasana Steps 

  • Spread a Yoga Mat and lie flat on the stomach.
  • Raise the head and shoulders and rest the chin in the palms with the elbows on the ground.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  • Remain in the final position for as long as is comfortable.
  • To release the posture, become aware of the body, the breath, and surroundings.
  • Slowly release the posture.

Makarasana Procedure

While practicing Makarasana, two important points that will make the Asana more effective are – the position of the elbows and the breathing awareness.

The Spacing Between The Elbows In Makarasana

  • If the elbows are kept too far in front, it will affect neck joint and it will be stressed.
  • If the elbows are drawn too close to the chest then the tension will be felt in the lower back.
  • So the position of the elbows should be adjusted in such a manner that both the neck joint and the whole spine are most relaxed.

Breathing Awareness In Makarasana

To derive best results out of Makarasana, on every inhalation move the awareness up along the spine from tailbone to the neck and on every exhalation move the awareness back down the from neck to the tailbone. As the practice continues and awareness increases, develop the feeling that breath also moves up along the spine on inhaling, massaging the spine, and down from neck to tailbone again massaging the spine on exhaling. This will activate the healing energies in the area.

If a practitioner is suffering from the lower back pain, take the awareness to the affected area and feel the area expanding and relaxing with every inhalation and exhalation. This practice will help relieve the tension in the area and the practitioner will feel relieved of the pain.

Makarasana Contraindications

The people suffering from severe back conditions should avoid this asana if any discomfort or pain is experienced while practicing this asana.

Makarasana Benefits

  • Makarasana, the crocodile pose offers deep relaxation to spine.
  • Makarasana is best for people suffering from lower back pain, sciatica and slipped disc.
  • The asana relieves the compression of spinal nerves.
  • Makarasana is very good for people suffering from respiratory disorders like asthma or bronchitis.
  • The asana activates the healing energies in the spine if combined with breathing awareness as described.
  • The asana gently massages the abdominal organs and helps to keep them healthy.
  • The asana relieves neck pain.
  • Makarasana is very good for a healthy respiratory system.

Crocodile Pose Yoga Sequence

Makarasana is a resting Yoga Pose and can be done after Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, and Dhanurasana. Since it is a backward bending asana, it can be followed up by Pawanmuktasana or Marjari Asana.

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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