HOW TO: Dolphin Plank (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Dolphin Plank

It’s amazing to me how much my body really needs yoga.  I spent the last week super busy with work and other commitments that I hardly had anytime to get on the mat. I maybe spent at most 5 minutes each day just doing something small, like a Child’s Pose or quick Downward Dog.  But by the end of the week, I felt terrible. I was tired, I had the worst headache, I felt nauseous and just plain run down.  The change to cooler weather and just the stress from the week didn’t help.  But today I got to spend quite a bit of time on my yoga mat and it felt AMAZING! My mat has become such a place of comfort for me, so stepping on it for a feel-good practice is just what I needed after a long week.

Dolphin Plank (most commonly known as Forearm Plank) is one of those poses that is a yoga pose but you’ll see it so often outside of the yoga studio, just like regular plank pose.  That’s because it’s such a great total body strengthening pose, that everyone can easily see the benefit of doing it.  Now I love plank poses of all kinds, (Check out Side Plank and Upward Plank poses) but I typically choose a straight arm plank over Dolphin Plank. It’s just a personal preference, and I think you get some really good and many of the same benefits from both.  However, the advantage Dolphin Plank has over straight arm plank is that it is gentle on the wrists.  I come across so many people while teaching that deal with the everyday nuisance of wrist pain.  This plank pose allows you to get the strengthening benefits of a plank without having to put too much weight on your wrists.

Instructions:

Begin on your hands and knees in Table Pose.

Step both feet back behind you coming into Plank Pose.

Lower your forearms onto the mat bringing them parallel with one another.

Keep your palms pressing into the mat or gently clasp them together.

Ensure your hips stay even and your body is in a straight line from your heels to your head.

Hold for at least 30 seconds.

Benefits:

Strengthens the core, shoulders, arms, and chest

Strengthens the calves, hamstrings, and arches of the feet

Tones the abdominals and glutes

Improves posture and balance

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