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Standing Asanas,Yoga,Yoga Asana Library Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Dolphin Pose

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose is a beginner level practice, but it introduces a new challenge by shifting the weight-bearing to the forearms instead of the hands, making it a deeper and more challenging variation of the Downward Facing Dog Pose

Benefits Of Dolphin Pose

  1. Great alternative to Downward Dog pose if you have sensitive wrists.
  2. Strengthens the shoulders, arms, upper body, and legs.
  3. Activates the arches of your feet.
  4. Dolphin pose provides the strength and actions needed for Headstand and Forearm balance.
  5. It’s recommended to be able to hold the pose for 20 breaths before progressing to more advanced poses like Headstand and Forearm balance.

Instructions (Step-by-Step)

  1. In Dolphin Pose, begin on your hands and knees, placing your forearms on the floor with elbows directly under your shoulders. You have the option to keep your palms down with forearms parallel or interlace your fingers, tucking the bottom little finger in.
  2. As you exhale, curl your toes under, engage your lower belly, and lift your knees away from the floor.
  3. Lift your sitting bones up and lengthen the tailbone as you straighten your legs, lowering the heels towards the floor (they do not need to touch).
  4. Engage your thigh muscles and keep the lower belly drawn in, actively pressing the forearms into the floor.
  5. Firm your shoulder blades down onto your back, maintaining space between them, and lengthen your spine.
  6. Hold your head between your arms, off the floor.
  7. Stay in the pose for 5 to 20 breaths.
  8. To exit the pose, allow your knees to come back onto the floor as you exhale and rest in Child’s Pose.

Common Mistakes Of Dolphin Pose

  1. Elbows Too Wide or Too Narrow: Pay attention to the positioning of your elbows. Keep them shoulder-width apart to maintain a stable and balanced Dolphin pose. Avoid going too wide or too narrow.
  2. Collapsed Shoulders or Chest: Ensure that your shoulders and chest remain open and engaged. Avoid collapsing or rounding your upper back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to create a strong foundation for the pose.
  3. Sagging Hips: Prevent your hips from sagging down by engaging your core muscles. Lift your hips towards the ceiling to create a straight line from your head to your heels. This will help you build strength and stability in the pose.

Precautions Of Dolphin Pose

Shoulder or Hip Injury: If you have a history of shoulder or hip injury, it’s crucial to approach Dolphin pose with caution. Consult with a skilled yoga instructor or healthcare professional before attempting the pose to ensure it aligns with your recovery needs.

Medical Conditions: Individuals with any underlying medical conditions should practice yoga poses, including Dolphin pose, under the supervision of an experienced instructor and after consulting with a healthcare professional. Safety and proper guidance are paramount in such situations.

Modifications On Dolphin Pose

  1. For a dynamic movement, rise to your toes on an inhale, and lower down to your heels on an exhale.
  2. Transition from Dolphin to Forearm Plank on an inhale, and back to Dolphin on an exhale.
  3. Walk your feet closer to your hands, lifting one leg at a time for Forearm Balance and Headstand preparation.
  4. Challenge yourself with Dolphin press-ups—interlace your fingers, bring your chin close to your hands, and push through forearms to lift back up.
  5. Turn Dolphin pose into ‘Turbodog’ pose by lifting the elbows slightly off the mat—forearms parallel.


  1. Open the shoulders by pressing palms together with forearms on the floor or clasp all ten fingers.
  2. Bend your knees to find the correct spinal alignment. Lift sit bones higher, press hips toward the wall, and slowly straighten your legs.
  3. If the upper back rounds when straightening legs, bend them again until you gain more flexibility.
  4. For a challenge, transition from Dolphin Pose to Downward-Facing Dog by pressing palms to the mat and lowering forearms, then return to Dolphin Pose. Repeat 10-20 times.

Tips For Beginners

  1. Before lifting your knees, touch the elbows with the fingertips of the opposite hands to ensure shoulder-width apart.
  2. If your back rounds with straight legs, keep the knees bent to maintain length in your spine.
  3. Strengthen with Forearm Plank and Downward Facing Dog for preparation.

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