HOW TO: Dolphin Pose (Makarasana)

Dolphin Pose

Recently I posted a How To for Dolphin Plank, and this pose goes hand in hand with the Plank version and can even be combined in a sequence to work the upper body and core muscles (see below for more info).This pose is great for strengthening the upper back, shoulders, arms, core and legs.  It also helps stretch the backs, legs, and feet. While this pose has many benefits that make it worth practicing for everyone, it can also be a good alternative to Downward Facing Dog for individuals who experience wrist or hand pain.

Instructions:

Begin in Table Pose with your feet hip distance apart and your wrists, elbows,and shoulders in one line.

Lower your forearms on to the ground, bringing your elbows shoulder distance apart.

Rest your hands on the mat, with your fingers spread wide, or option to interlace the hands in front of your head for more support.

Tuck your toes under and press into your hands and feet to lift your sitting bones up towards the ceiling.

Extend down through the heels and relax your neck.

Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Benefits:

Strengthens the shoulders, upper back, core, and leg muscles

Stretches the shoulders, back muscles, hamstrings, calves, and feet

Great alternative to Downward Facing Dog if you have wrist pain

Make it a Workout:

Begin in Dolphin Plank holding for 5 deep breaths, then walk your feet up to come into Dolphin pose holding for 5 deep breaths.  Repeat as many times as you can to really strengthen the core and upper body.

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