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Makarasana - Step by Step Guidance

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

The Crocodile Pose for diaphragmatic breathing

Makarasana, also known as Crocodile Pose, is a rejuvenating yoga asana with numerous health benefits. Learn how practicing Makarasana can improve your physical and mental well-being.  SEO Summary:  Makarasana, or Crocodile Pose, is a yoga posture that offers a multitude of health benefits for individuals seeking improved well-being. This rejuvenating asana provides a holistic approach to enhancing physical and mental health. By practicing Makarasana regularly, you can experience benefits such as increased relaxation, reduced stress and anxiety, improved posture, strengthened back muscles, enhanced digestion, and a rejuvenated nervous system. Additionally, Makarasana aids in relieving lower back pain, alleviating sciatica symptoms, and promoting a restful sleep. Incorporating Makarasana into your yoga routine can be a transformative step towards achieving a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

In Makarasana (Video) Pose or Crocodile Pose we apply Diaphragmatic Breathing through the whole exercise. Arrange a firm foundation to rest on, a carpet or a yoga mat would be recommended. Please do not practice in bed as we need a stable ground to support the practice. Make sure you are undisturbed for about 30 minutes of Makarasana Practice. Makarasana can be practice with or without placing a weight on your diaphragm. For quicker results a weight of 1,5 - 3kg is recommended.




How to perform Makarasana

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Lie down on your belly. Open up your legs so that the inner rims of your feet touch the ground and the toes point to the outside. Place the weight on your back, right below the lower ribcage. Grab your elbows with your hands above your head and place your arms on the ground. Rest your forehead on the lower arms. Make sure that your head can hang down relaxed and your neck is straight.


Establish full body awareness and collect your mind to the here and now. Feel the place you are resting on. Release all tension from your body, relax from head to toe. Let your breath flow freely and allow your awareness to follow your breath through your whole body.


Focus on your breath on the navel area. Feel the resistance of the ground against your belly while you breath. Intensify your breath and breathe against the floor. Observe that your body is lifted up with inhalation and slowly moving down with exhalation. Gently remove all sounds and pauses from your breath, keep it even and smooth. Only your diaphragm, your main breathing muscle, is moving, the rest of the body is still and relaxed.


Refine the qualities of your breath more and more. Breathe more deeply, slowly, silently, uninterruptedly and in the same intensity. Further increase the movement of your diaphragm and the movement of the weight on your back. Feel how your mind is slowing down with every conscious breath. Remain in this position for about 10 minutes.



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Slowly and without changing your breath, release your arms to the sides of your head and rest your right cheek on the ground. Feel the difference in this position and keep on breathing against the floor for another 3 minutes. Gently turn your head to the right side, rest your left cheek on the ground. Make sure you move without changing the breath. Bring your legs together on the ground so that your toes touch and the heels drop to the outside. Relax fully and breathe deeply for another 3 minutes.



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Stretch out your left arm out over your head and take the support of right hand to slowly turn over the left side onto your back. Keep your breath observation and do not allow any disturbances during the movement. Let the weight roll off your body. Lie down on your back in Shavasana Pose (Corpse Pose). Place the weight on your belly, between the root of the sternum and the navel. Arrange your arms on the ground alongside the body, a little apart from the body, with the palms up. Bring your legs apart and let the toes drop to the outside.

Breathe deeply and make the weight on your belly rise high with inhalation and sink down slowly with exhalation. Intensify the movement and make it more slow with every breath. Observe how the diaphragm squeezes your abdominal organs when you inhale and how the pressure releases bit by bit as you relax the diaphragm with exhalation. Remain in this position for another 5 minutes.


Slowly and without changing your breath, remove the weight from your belly. Rest you left hand on your chest and your right hand on your stomach region. Keep on refining the qualities of your breath and watch the rise and fall you your right hand while your left hand does not move at all. Stay here for another 5 minutes.

Makarasana Practice allows you to train your main breathing muscle and regain a sound and natural breathing pattern. It develops the incorporation of diaphragmatic breathing in daily life and trains your breath observation as well as your biofeedback system. It slows down the mind and fosters concentration and mental resilience. It is recommended to practice Makarsana every day on empty stomach.



Learn at the Yoga Science Academy

If you wish to explore more about the power of Makarasana and the applications, please reach out or visit our Pranayama Trainings Online, or Pranayama Courses in Nepal, and in Europe. For specific applications and needs you can make a counseling appointment and find your personalized holistic Yogic practice. With a comprehensive curriculum, our courses cater to all levels of experience to gain practical skills and confidence through hands-on training, preparing you to share yoga's benefits with others.


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