Dolphin Pose

ARDHA PINCHA MAYURASANA

strengthens the arms and shoulders, opens the upper back, lengthens the side body. It is also good prep for and alternative to inversions if you do not wish to bring the feet and pelvis over the heart.

How to Perform

  • From hands and knees, bring the elbows and forearms to the oor with elbows under the shoulders. Keeping the forearms parallel press the palms, knuckles and fingertips firmly down keeping them well anchored throughout the pose.
  • As with Downward Dog, as you inhale bring the head of the arm bones forward, lengthening the side body. As you exhale soften your heart to the floor, bringing the shoulder blades together on your back and lift your hips to the sky keeping a slight bend in the knees.
  • Firm the shins in to create steadiness and roll the upper inner thighs in back and apart to lengthen the lower back. From the bottom of your heart press the floor away from you, sliding the shoulder blades away from the ears and up towards the hips.
  • Begin to extend through your hamstrings, taking your heels towards the oor but avoid rounding the lumbar spine. If this happens, keep the knees slightly bent.
  • The head is o the oor and looking forward between the forearms.
  • Post 30 weeks pregnancy, only hold Dolphin for a max of 5 breaths or 30 seconds.

Modifications

  • This is more challenging than Downward Facing Dog as there is less room for the belly and more weight into the shoulders. You may want to take the feet even wider or elevate them onto a step or other firm support to give more space between belly and thighs. To help keep the elbows in, a strap can be used around the upper arms, or you can firmly grasp the edges of a block to help keep the arms parallel.