The Dolphin Pose is the western name for Ardha Pincha Mayurasana. In the Sanskrit Language, Ardha means Half, Pincha means Feathers, Mayura means Peacock, while Asana means Pose or Position.
This Pose is a semi-inverted yoga exercise that strengthens the upper body, increases blood circulation in the brain, and trains the body for performing more advanced inversions and arm balancing postures.
Practicing an upside-down position can enhance the feeling of freedom and control in one’s body. While most fully inverted poses like Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) and Sirsasana (Headstand) have many emotional, physical, and psychological benefits, they are not easy to perform.
The Idea of The Dolphin Pose
It tests your confidence level, flexibility, balance, and strength to great lengths, so it can take a long time to master these gravity-defying poses. If your body and mind are not yet prepared for full inversions, you can start with a starter semi-inverted pose like the Dolphin.
The Dolphin Pose prepares you for the more advanced full inversions by increasing the strength and opening up the upper body. With more practice, you can gain more mobility in the shoulders and spine.
It will also strengthen the arms and core of your body; over time, by practicing this pose, you will gain enough strength to perform handstands and headstands. Apart from this, Dolphin Pose also improves alignment and removes the compression that gets built in between the spine and vertebrae.
Steps: How To Perform A Dolphin Pose
Start by entering into a Tabletop position and placing the forearms on the mat/floor and the elbows below the shoulders. For your ease, you can either keep the palms down (arms in a parallel position to each other) or interlace the fingers with the inner fingers tucked inside.
After the exhaling, move your toes while drawing your lower abdominal muscles in, use your lower abdominal muscles to bring your knees up (opposite to the floor). Bend your hip bones, legs, and push your tailbone out, all at the same time. Now shift your weight from the higher to the lower part of your hips and then from your hips downwards.
When the thigh muscles and the mid-belly are engaged, draw the forearms towards the ground to make the opposing external obliques more visible.
Maintaining the distance between your shoulder blades, leave your torso tightly situated between your hips and the rear. You must also relax your neck and upper back and still hold your head to the best of your ability when lengthening your spine. Keep this place for 10 to 20 breaths.
With an exhale, to end the pose, revert your knees to the starting position, and rest in the Child’s Pose. Preparatory poses for Dolphin Pose include Uttanasana, Gomukhasana, Phalakasana. As a follow-up pose, you can try Salabhasana.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will it Increase Flexibility?
It can be challenging to maintain track of anything while you're first starting in Dolphin Pose. You want to start on your knees so you can concentrate entirely on keeping your back straight. If you have a preference between keeping your back straight and keeping your legs straight until you're in the air, keep your back straight. Allow the legs to flex slightly as you work on improving the core strength of your back.
What About Core Strength?
To strengthen the core, swoop down into Dolphin Plank Pose, where the back and legs shape a single straight line, to increase the amount of core strength being measured. Pick the buttocks back up into the air and shape the Dolphin Pose on the exhale. This is a different series of challenges that will put the elbows, thighs, and core muscles to the test.
Any Tips For Sore Knees?
Place a towel under your knees or put your knees directly on the mat and hold your weight on them. Before you lift into Dolphin Pose, use it to keep them in place. This will also allow you to have a smooth landing as you exit the pose.
The dolphin pose can help stretch and strengthen arches, hamstrings, and calves, making you much more flexible. Moreover, it can open up your chest and shoulders, which improves breathing. It can additionally provide a good workout for the inner arms. This pose is also very beneficial in issues associated with high blood pressure and menopause. Plus, it can help people who have asthma, a huge win. Balance, arm power, leg strength, and general stamina are all aided by this traditional triangle-shaped position.