I’ve been participating in the #justbepresent December yoga challenge on Instagram (check the challenge pics out here and my submissions here) and I’ve really been enjoying it! In looking at the photos that others are submitting and the well-demonstrated poses the sponsors are posting, I’ve gotten inspired to work towards adding harder poses into my practice. I think I’ve gotten a bit complacent and haven’t really challenged myself lately, so I decided to start this post series to document my yoga travels.
Disclosure: I am not a certified yoga teacher nor do I claim to be a yoga expert in any way. I’m just sharing my own experiences in practicing, and the ways I have been taught postures.
Since this pose only recently joined my regular practice, I’ll start with Dolphin Pose! Dolphin, or Makarasana, is both a forward fold and an inversion pose, which means it’s good for all kinds of things. Not only is it a wicked hamstring stretch, it strengthens your core, shoulders, and arms, and is a great preparatory pose for arm balances and more advances inversions.
I’m sorry you can’t see my head in this shot, but I was so proud of my alignment and the Christmas tree in the background that I had to use it. Here’s a shot of how the full body should be positioned:
To get into this pose: Do some cat/cow or a few sun salutations to warm up your spine. Then start in downward facing dog. Take a few breaths there. Next, lower yourself down onto your forearms, and clasp your hands together to form a solid base. Your clasped hands to your elbows should form a triangle. Then think about lifting your hips even higher toward the sky than you do in downward facing dog. Let your head hang, look at your feet, and start walking them toward your face. When your body tells you it’s gone far enough, try to get your heels as close to the floor as possible. Take at least 3 breaths here, then lower yourself down to child’s pose to rest.
When you first begin practicing this pose, it’s unlikely your heels will be flat on the floor (you can see mine are still hovering a bit). What’s more important is that your back is straight and that you walk your feet in towards your head as much as you can. Your head shouldn’t be resting on the floor, but rather hanging loose between your elbows.
That’s it! Enjoy and please share your pictures of you in dolphin pose (or any pose!) with me on Instagram! My handle is afewofmyfavoritenewthings and you can tag your photos #favoritenewpose.