Crocodile Pose - Makarasana

Makarasana or the crocodile pose is a great pose for all round stretching of the body. It is a pose that straightens and stretches the muscles of the back, legs, buttocks, and the back of the arms and legs.

The crocodile pose in yoga is also a great pose to reduce stress and improve posture. The aim of this yoga pose is to release strain caused by other asanas.


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The pose is such an inclusive one that you can feel the stretch all the way from the neck to your calves.

Steps :

  1. There are simple steps that will help you do the crocodile pose which is not a very simple pose.
  2. You have to start by lying flat on your belly with your forehead resting on the floor or the mat and hands resting besides you, palm down.
  3. As you exhale, lift your head, legs and upper torso away from the floor. Remember not to strain any part of your body to lift any other part higher. Your lower ribs, abdomen and pelvis should be supporting your body.
  4. Now slowly raise your arms away from the floor and stretch them by imagining there is weight pressing down between your shoulder blades.
  5. Look ahead without stressing the neck or the forehead.
  6. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and slowly increase it to one minute. As you finish, slowly return to the starting position.

Precautions :

  • Avoid this pose if you have any serious back injury.
  • People with neck injuries should keep the head in a neutral position or use a folded blanket to support the neck during the asana.

Beginner’s tip :

A beginner’s tip while doing the crocodile pose is using your hands to first establish the pose by using the hands to support you. Once you have assumed the position, raise your hands to complete the pose. It might not be easy to find that balance in the beginning but keep at it and you will slowly be able to do the crocodile pose correctly.

This pose is used as a winding down asana in yoga workout and it is very common to fall asleep during it. It is also important to not fall asleep though that is a common reaction.

Benefit to body part :

  • It can benefit all parts of the body as it stretches your body almost from head to toe.

Therapeutic Applications :

  • The pose has therapeutic applications like using the pose to get rid of fatigue, constipation, flatulence, indigestion and back pain.
  • If you have any chronic injuries, you must do this pose with supervision or in limited capacity. The crocodile pose is also good for controlling blood pressure or hypertension.

Variations :

  • You can try variations for the crocodile which include incorporating parts of shalbhasana or the locust pose into the crocodile pose.
  • You can also use different props like rolled up blankets to support your ribs or thighs. This pose can also be done with a partner. A partner has to straddle you while you raise yourself. The weight on the shoulder blades will help you to get to the correct posture.
  • You can also deepen the crocodile pose by folding the legs at the knees once you have raised them. Your shins should be perpendicular to the floor. As you lift your torso, your knees will move further away from the floor.

Preparatory Poses :

Follow up poses :

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