Backward Bends


Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

Crocodile Pose
Level: All levels

Makara = a kind of sea monster often confused with a crocodile or shark.

Organizing the Pose


  1. Lie flat on the floor on the belly with the legs together.
  2. Interlock the fingers behind the back of the skull all the way up to the webbing.
  3. Lift the elbows and make the hands light on the back of the head.
  4. Exhale and lift the legs, head and chest off the floor.
  5. Keep the chest, elbows neck and shoulder blades wide.
  6. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  7. Exhale and release down with control.

Practice Points


  • Soften and widen the buttocks and the backs of the thighs.
  • If the hamstrings cramp, do not bend the knees as much.
  • Lengthen the tailbone towards the feet.
  • Lift with the inner thighs.
  • Widen the collarbones, shoulder blades and elbows as evenly as possible.
  • Widen the back.
  • Lengthen the sides of the waist and chest towards the head.
  • Keep the back of the neck wide and the hands light on the back of the head.