Published on March 26th, 2023 | by Catherine Tingey0
Dolphin (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) is a great intermediate inversion pose which many students can enjoy.
I love Dolphin Pose for anyone who wants to get off their wrists but still enjoys the spinal decompression and hamstring lengthening of Downward Facing Dog.
There are fun ways to enter, play in the pose, and exit the pose.
For the student wanting a more advanced practice, Dolphin Pose is a great preparation for Forearm Balance/Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana).
Some teach this by dropping down to the forearms from Down Dog OR lowering the forearms in Table and then lifting the hips.
I dislike both approaches for the beginner–they are too severe.
I start the student in Forearm Plank.
Once Forearm Plank is accessed easily and held, AND the student can find the following micro-engagements:
1) Press forearms down
2) Release shoulders down back, away from ears
3) Lifting of the navel and lengthening of the tail
THEN they are ready for Dolphin.
* * *
From Forearm Plank, soften the knees and baby step them toward the face.
Press down through the forearms.
Allow the tail to rise.
If this feels good, pedal out the feet and release the heels. They do not need to ever reach the floor, just as in Down Dog.
**For teachers: if you see the student’s shoulder heads sinking towards their ears, they do not yet have the strength or proprioception for the pose. Return to Forearm Plank and emphasize pressing forearms down and lifting navel while lengthening tailbone.
A nice dessert after Dolphin Pose is either Puppy Pose or Child’s Pose.
WORK & PLAY IN THE POSE
Slide shoulder blades down the back.
Gently press the chest towards the thighs.
Lift one Leg for Three Legged Dolphin.
Practice at the wall for Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana).
Strengthens shoulder girdle
** Wonderful alternative to Down Dog if wrists are achy
Shoulder injuries and elbow injuries related to weight bearing
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