Dolphin Pose

Dolphin pose strengthens the core, arms, and legs, while also nicely opening the shoulders.
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Dolphin pose strengthens the core, arms, and legs, while also nicely opening the shoulders.
dolphin pose

Dolphin Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists. Firmly press your palms together and your forearms into the floor.

See alsoWork Your Core In Any Pose

Step 2

Curl your toes under, then exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.

Step 3

Continue to press the forearms actively into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them away from the spine and draw them toward the tailbone. Hold your head between the upper arms; don't let it hang or press heavily against the floor.

See also Upside-Down Prep: Dolphin Pose

Step 4

You can straighten your knees if you like, but if your upper back rounds it's best to keep them bent. Continue to lengthen your tailbone away from the pelvis and lift the top of your sternum away from the floor.

Step 5

Stay between 30 seconds to one minute. Then release your knees to the floor with an exhale.

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Pose Information

Pose Level

1

Contraindications and Cautions

Shoulder or neck injuries, keep knees bent

Preparatory Poses

Follow-up Poses

Beginner's Tip

Open your shoulders by lifting your elbows on a rolled-up sticky mat and pressing your inner wrists firmly to the floor.

Benefits

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and arches
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica