Skip to main content

Makarasana
(Crocodile Pose)

Makarasana pose

How to perform Crocodile Pose

Place your hands on the back of your skull and lift your head, chest, and legs off the floor as in Salabhasana.

What is Makarasana?

Also known as Crocodile Pose, this is a very mild, preparatory backbend aiming to activate the muscles in the spine. It is very similar to Salabhasana, except here your arms are placed behind your head instead of being extended back alongside your trunk.

As you place your hands behind your head and lift your head, chest, and legs up off the floor, you are using your middle body to support yourself in this floating position. As a result, the side of your chest, and all the major muscles in your back begin to wake up and contract in ways they are not accustomed to in everyday life. For this reason, regular practice of Makarasana and/or Salabhasana can be very beneficial to the health of your back and will help to improve your posture and overall resilience. Moreover, Makarasana can help release tension in your shoulders seen as the bent position of your arms helps massage the area in-between your shoulder blades.

When to use Makarasana?

Makarasana is a foundation backbend and so is suited for students of all levels. Because of the way in which it activates the spine, it is most likely to appear at the start of a backbend sequence, as you prepare to go into deeper and more intense backbends.

It is also known to relax the body and even out the compressing effects of forward bends which makes it a good counterbalancing pose for such postures as Uttanasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana.