Yoga for Beginners: Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) – Free Online Yoga Video
Dolphin Pose is a great beginning yoga pose for many reasons. It strengthens the shoulder girdle, which is weak for most students just starting yoga. Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) also engages the core muscles we need for forearm stand, headstand, and more.
In this way, Dolphin Pose is an excellent pose for preparing beginning yoga students for being upside down in any kind of inversion that relies on shoulder stability.
Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner or yoga teacher, find fresh inspiration for alignment in this important yoga pose in this free online yoga video tutorial with YogaUOnline’s Jasmine Punzalan.
Dolphin Pose Benefits
Dolphin Pose strengthens the shoulder girdle and provides stability to this notoriously unstable area of the body. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana will also provide support and preparation for both forearm stand and headstand. Your core muscles also gain strength and stability from practicing this yoga posture (all without crunches!)
Another added benefit of practicing Dolphin Pose is gaining confidence in an inverted position. It is a safe way to practice having your head facing the ground (as you would in headstand, handstand, or forearm stand).
Finally, this posture: stretches your hamstrings, calves, and arches. Dolphin Pose opens your shoulders, chest, and inner armpits, while also strengthening your arms and legs. Among the benefits often listed are also better digestion, although this benefit is less well documented.
Getting Started: Forearm Alignment in Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
1. Start on all fours with the wrists right under your shoulders and knees directly under the hips.
2. Interlace your fingers completely (feel the webbing of your fingers connect). Place your elbows on the ground slightly narrower than shoulder distance apart. The elbows have a tendency to move away from one another, so it’s important to set that distance up correctly.
3. Now press down into the forearms (think of a “karate chop” action into the floor). Press into the elbows to lift your shoulders away from your ears.
Moving into the Pose: Actions and Alignments in Dolphin Pose
4. On an exhale press your hips back and up, extend the legs and enter the pose. Let your head hang freely.
5. Press your shoulder blades into your chest. This will open your thoracic spine.
6. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees so you’re able to maintain length in the spine.
7. If you have the mobility in your legs, start to walk the feet towards your elbows. Make sure you continue pressing the chest back as you do this.
Moving Out of Dolphin Pose
8. Drop your knees to the ground, bring your big toes to touch. Send your hips back to rest on your heels. Bring your arms alongside your hips, resting with the palms up. Stay in Child’s Pose for a few rounds of breath.