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Crocodile Pose in Yoga (Makrasana): 8 Amazing Benefits

Crocodile Pose (Makrasana)

‘Makra’ or ‘Nakra’ in the Sanskrit language means a ‘Crocodile’, and ‘Makrasana’ means ‘Crocodile pose in yoga’ in this pose the body is compared to a crocodile whose face and neck are up and above the water. 

In Makrasana the practitioner lies down on his belly face down, hands folded at the elbows and placed below the forehead and the legs are spread out as much as possible.  

Makarasana is the only relaxation pose and it is not possible for the practitioner to sleep, due to the upright position of the head and the neck. In this pose heart rate is reduced and the entire muscular system is relaxed. Makrasana is a relaxation pose and it is normally done after the end of the yoga session. This is a base pose for various Makrasana variations that can be derived from it. 

Crocodile Pose (Makrasana) quick details

Sanskrit Name Makarasana, Nakarasana
English Name   Crocodile Pose 
Difficulty Level      Beginner to advanced
Position    Prone
Type   Relaxation pose

Crocodile pose in yoga (First Variation)

  1. Lie down on the floor on your belly.
  2. Keep your hands folded under your forehead.
  3. Now place your right palm over your left palm and place your forehead over your right palm in a relaxed manner.
  4. Close your eyes
  5. Now stretch your legs as far as you can, keeping your toes pointed outwards. Your legs should be about sholder distance apart from each other.
  6. Relax your body and breath normally and deeply, relax your muscles while keeping your whole body touched to the ground.
  7. You can hold this pose for about 2 to 5 minutes.
  8. While returning back, slowly bring your feet together and unfold your arms and come back to normal position.
Crocodile pose

Crocodile Pose yoga (Second Variation)

  1. Lie down on your belly.
  2. By creating a 45-degree angle with your thigh and calf bend your right leg.
  3. Your left leg should be stretched straight behind you.
  4. Put your left cheek on the floor and look to your right.
  5. Place your hands under your left cheek to create support.
  6. You can rest in this pose for 1 to 5 minutes while breathing deeply.
  7. You can repeat the same with the other leg.

Corodile Pose Benefits

1.Helpful in curing lung disorders

Deep breathing is involved in this pose which helps in improving lung capacity and efficiency. People suffering from disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and asthma are benefitted from the daily practice of this pose.

2.Improves digestion

This pose is practiced with deep breathing in a prone position. It tones and massages the abdominal organs and improves their functioning. Improving the digestive system of the body this pose helps in curing constipation.  

3. Blood circulation

In Makarasana the prana energy flows properly through the base of the spine, fresh blood comes towards the entire spine and is circulated throughout the body, thus keeping the spine free from all harmful ailments. 

4. Lower back stiffness

The slow rhythmic breathing in this prone pose reduces the tensions around the muscles of the lower back, closer to the sacrum, thereby reducing the spasm. 

5. Sacrum stimulation

In Makasrasna, the muscles around the sacrum are contracted, which is the biggest benefit of doing this pose. The sacrum is a triangular bone that is at the base of the spine between the two hip bones. Stimulation of the sacrum helps in improving the flow of prana energy through the entire spine, which flexes the hips and removes blockages.

6. Rejuvenates the body

This pose helps to relax the spine and shoulders and relieves the entire body. It relieves fatigue by relaxing and releasing tight knots in the body and rejuvenating the body of the practitioner. 

7. Stress and anxiety reliever

Makrasana has soothing effects on the brain. It helps in preventing mental disorders, anxiety, and stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system in the body. It turns your mind inward, calming it and preventing anxiety.  

8. Reduce blood pressure

The blood pressure comes under control by regular practice of this asana because the smooth flow of breath and activation of diaphragm muscle reduces the functioning of the respiratory and circulatory system. 

Contraindication

  • Pregnant women should avoid this pose as great pressure comes on the stomach in this pose which may cause harm.
  • In case of any suffering, ailment, operation, or surgery related to the stomach area, this pose should be avoided.
  • High Blood pressure. If you are suffering from high blood pressure then you can avoid this pose because breathing is a very important part of this pose and if breathing is not done properly then uneven breathing can cause pressure in the arteries.  
  • If case you have a serious back injury then avoid this asana.        

Modification and variation

There are several variations of Crocodile Pose that you can do as per your comfort. You can straighten both legs behind you, fold your elbows and create a support for your forehead.

Fold your hands and keep the tips of your elbows on the yoga mat with your fingers facing upwards. Your elbows should be shoulder-distance apart. Now raise your head and shoulder, keeping your neck straight look in front of you. You can stay in this pose for a few minutes for complete relaxation. 

Crocodile pose in yoga (Advanced Variation)

This pose contains several dynamic movements resembling those of a crocodile ready to stalk its prey, hence this name. 

Steps

  1. Face downwards, lie flat on the floor. 
  2. Bend your elbows and place your palms by the side of your waist.
  3. Keep your feet about one foot apart from each other, breathe out and raise your body a few inches above the ground. Balance your body on your palms and the toes.
  4. Keep your knees tight and your body stiff as a poker your body should be parallel to the ground. 
  5. Now take a few breaths and with an exhalation swing your whole body a foot forward lifting your hands and feet simultaneously off the floor. 
  6. Take a few breaths after going a foot forward then breathe out and swing forward again. 
  7. You can repeat the forward swings four or five times. At the end of each swing, the position of the body should be as described in the above picture. 
  8. These movements resemble the swings of a crocodile stalking its prey. 
  9. Take a few seconds to rest with a deep breath after each swing. 
  10. Now reverse your movements and with every breath out jump back about a foot with every jump until you return back to the position from where you started. 

Benefits

  1. This pose develops powerful wrists.
  2. The lethargy of the body is removed. 
  3. Fatigue of the brain is relieved.
  4. The entire body is rejuvenated and also makes one feel vigorous and lively. 

Precautions

As great pressure comes on the wrist, so they are tried gradually, otherwise, writs can be sprained. 

Conclusion

If you want to rejuvenate your body and want to feel refreshed throughout the day then start practicing Crocodile pose (Makrasana). This pose offers many health benefits so should be included in your daily yoga routine. 

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