'Makara' means 'Crocodile'. While doing this Asana body resembles the shape of 'crocodile', hence it is known as Makarasana. It is also considered a relaxative Asana like Savasana. Makarasana increases the heat of the body.
There are two versions of Makarasana practiced in (1) prone position and (2) supine position.
Makarasana (prone position)
Position of readiness
Lie face down on the floor on your stomach, hands stretched backwards close to the thighs and the legs straight.
Slowly spread out both the legs. The toes should remain out and heels inward.
Slowly fold the left hand at elbow bringing it from below the armpit. Place it in the right shoulder. Fold the right hand at the elbow and place it on the left shoulder.
Place your head on the triangle made by both the elbows. If it is difficult to rest the head, keep chin between the elbows
As all the muscles are relaxed, as well as the heart beats and the breathing also slow down. Though the basic operation turns slow, the body gets good rest.
This is beneficial in Asthma. It corrects the acquired wrong process of respiration
Abdominal muscles get massage.
Those having heart problem, obesity, gas or high blood pressure should not practice it.
Also see Makarasana – 2