Work your strength and flexibility with this weeks Dolphin Pose
This Dolphin pose is fabulous! Simple, yet challenging in so many ways. It provides a great stretch to the shoulders, hamstrings and calves whilst asking strength of arms, core and legs. This basic pose helps us open and strengthen the body so that we can get used to the idea of going upside down (inverting). It’s a prelude to headstand as well as Pincha Mayurasana, so it’s great to practice every day to help build the body.
If you suffer from shoulder or neck injuries/issues, best to practice this with caution and keep your knees bent. If it still hurts to practice this pose then skip it until you have recovered.
The lovely Plank pose!
Uttanasana – forward fold (above)
Gomukhasana (cow face pose) to open the arms and shoulders
Step by Step guide
Start in all fours, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Then bend your arms so that you can place your forearms on the floor with the hands directly in front of the elbows, palms face down. The elbows should be below the shoulders.
Actively press your forearms into the floor. Tuck your toes under and start to lift your knees from the floor, lifting your hips up and back.
Keep the knees slightly bent to begin with. With the knees still bent lift your hips up and back as if they were to meet the point where the wall meets the ceiling behind you. This asks a lot of rotation in the shoulder joint so take it easy.
As you begin to feel more comfortable in this pose, you can start to lower your heels to the floor behind you. This will lengthen the backs of the legs without hyper-extending the knees backwards. The straightness and the integrity of the spine is more important in this pose than how straight your legs are.
Hold this for 6 breaths. If you begin to feel more open in the pose, you can walk the feet further forwards, as long your spine doesn’t start to bow outwards. To exit the pose, lower your knees carefully to the mat and come back to all fours.