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Asana Analysis

Published on September 17th, 2013 | by Catherine Tingey

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THREE LEGGED DOG POSE (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

THREE LEGGED DOG POSE is a great example of yoga’s evolution.

Not considered a core yoga posture, Three Legged Dog Pose has evolved as a balletic way of entering into WARRIOR I , CRESCENT and a host of other standing postures.

Although essentially more of a transitional pose within a Vinyasa or Flow-based yoga practice, variations of the pose (with a bent knee) also offer hip-opening benefits.

BENEFITS OF THREE LEGGED DOG POSE (also referred to as One Legged Downward Dog Pose (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana) include:

  • Strengthens the arms and shoulder girdle
  • Opens the hamstrings and hip flexors
  • Relieves headaches, fatigue, poor digestion, and back pain
  • Calms the nervous system

DSC01270ALIGNMENT

In DOWNWARD FACING DOG, inhale and imagine a string from the top of the right hamstring lifting the right leg to the sky.

Internally rotate the RIGHT LEG toward the midline – this will help keep the pelvis neutral (also referred to as keeping the pelvis square). You may feel the RIGHT HIP drop slightly.

Lift through the RIGHT HEEL.

Press the LEFT THIGH back into the LEFT THIGH BONE.

Rotate the outer upper arms toward the cheeks, broadening the upper back.

WORK IN THE POSE

Press the palms evenly into the ground, keeping the shoulders square.

Lift the pelvis away from the ribcage.

Relax the shoulders down away from the ears.

Align the ears with the upper arms.

Exhale and lower the leg. Take the other side.

VARIATIONS include BENDING THE LIFTED LEG’s KNEE and opening the hip as a precursor to taking WILD THING POSE.

 

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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