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Updated: Apr 8, 2023


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Dolphin pose, also named Ardha Pincha Mayurasana in Sanskrit, is a great pose to strengthen the muscles of your arms, shoulders, core, and legs and to prepare you for inversions.

How to Dolphin pose

  1. Start in an all-fours position/table top pose then bend your elbows in order to place your forearms on the floor parallel to each other. Your palms are flat on the floor and your elbows underneath shoulders.

  2. Inhale tap your toes, draw your shoulders back, away from your ears, engage your core muscles and start to lift your knees off the floor and draw your hips up towards the ceiling.

  3. Exhale and try to step your toes slightly closer to your elbows.

  4. Then straighten your legs by drawing your heels towards the floor.

  5. Press your forearms actively into the floor to keep your head off the floor, your shoulders away from your ears and lengthening your spine up towards the ceiling.

· Try to stay in the pose for 5 to 20 breaths.

· To come out of the pose, on an exhale bring your knees to the floor, point your toes, place your bottom on your heels and extend your arms by side of your body.


This pose:

✨ Strengthens shoulders, arms, upper body, core and legs.

✨ Stretches hamstrings, calves, arches and shoulders.

✨ Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue.

✨ Improves digestion.


➡️ Close your chest and round your back

➡️ Join your hands

➡️ Draw your elbows out

➡️ Keep tension in your neck


If Dolphin Pose is too hard for you to perform safely, try these 2 variations to realise in your mat instead:

1/ If you find it hard to extend your legs (tight hamstrings, calves and ankles), keep your knees bent and your heels lifted.


place your heels on a block and press your heels down against the block.

2/ If you get right shoulders and chest and that your arms cannot hold the position, place and squeeze a block in-between your hands and elbows.

Are you ready to challenge yourself in Dolphin Pose?

1/ From your Dolphin pose, transition into your forearm plank and keep going as long as you can or want.

2/ From you Dolphin pose, try to lift one leg off the floor and maybe find your balance on your forearms

3/ From Dolphin Pose press yourself directly into Downward-Facing Dog by extending your arms. Then bend your elbows and lower your forearms back to the mat into Dolphin Pose again. Repeat as many time as you can/want.

Now it's your turn and let me know in the comments section below how it was for you!

8 poses to improve your Dolphin pose

Dolphin Pose is a challenging pose that requires core, arm, and shoulder strength, as well as flexible hamstrings, chest, and shoulders.

All of these skills take time so don't rush into this posture, learn to appreciate its realization step by step.

As it's not easy, I've picked out a few asanas that can help you build the strength and develop the flexibility you need to achieve your Dolphin pose:

§ Top left corner: Eagle arms - Sukhasana Garuda Arms

§ Top center: Melting Heart Pose – Uttana Shishosana

§ Top right corner: Low lunge with fingers interlaced behind back Pose – Anjaneyasana

§ Center-right: Cow arms – Gomukhasana arms

§ Lower right corner: Tiger Curl Pose – Phalakasana Variation Knee to Nose

§ Lower center: Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Shvanasana

§ Lower left corner: Big Toe Pose - Padangusthasana

§ Center-left: Forearm Plank Pose - Phalakasana II

§ Center: Dolphin Pose – Ardha Pincha Mayurasana


➡️ You can stay in each of these poses for 10 breaths before moving on to the next. And don't forget to repeat on the other leg if applies.

➡️ You can use blocks, books or any kind of supports to help you in each of these poses.

➡️ This asana requires strength and flexibility to perform. Be patient, gentle in your movements and listen to your body.

Come on your mat, enjoy this mini sequence, share your practice, let me know in the comments section below how this practice was for you, I cannot wait to know!

With love,

Anne Po.

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