The dolphin pose requires you to open your hamstrings and shoulders in order to prepare your entire body for an upside-down position. Although this pose can be quite challenging for a lot of yoga practitioners, once you get it right, it will provide plenty of benefits for both your body and mind. Here are some useful and practical steps and tips to master the dolphin asana.
Start from the downward-facing dog asana. Then, kneel and bring your elbows in front of your knees while placing your hands on the floor. Keep them shoulder-width apart. For a better foundation and support, try to keep your palms facing up as well as rotating them down. Spreading your fingers is a great idea for an extra stability. Stretch your forearms as much as you can so that they will be as far away from the elbows as possible. Arms must remain parallel and grounded.
Now that you have created the dolphin pose’s foundation, it is time to go to the next level. Keeping your arms parallel, go ahead and slide both knees until they are aligned under the hips. As you could see from my previous mentions, support, focus, and stability are all key elements of this pose. Therefore, you should curl your toes under your feet. Also, your shoulders must be aligned with the elbows. To prevent the elbows from splaying, you should your upper arms’ outside part even more than their initial position. Lift your outer and inner arms slowly and evenly. This will provide the pose a level platform for your shoulders. In order to lift your shoulder far away from your elbows, press your forearms more into the ground.
So far so good! The time has come for you to get truly courageous and lift your hips up. Don’t forget to maintain the shoulders over the elbows the entire time. Exhale while you lift your hips. Align your ears with your upper arms. Make sure you don’t put too much pressure on your neck. Something that helps is to maintain both shoulders as lifted as possible. This way, your neck will get a chance to lengthen and relax at the same time. I know you understood that you must press with your arms into the ground, which is entirely true. However, you must also engage your legs. Make them share a part of the effort by pressing your feet down which will help you to lift your legs’ front a lot easier. One last thing remains in this phase of the dolphin pose: open your hamstrings by placing your upper thighs toward your legs’ backs.
Let’s talk about front arms! They are your body’s pillars throughout the entire pose, from your armpits all the way to the elbows. So, you must focus and avoid moving them in the direction of your fingertips. Both inner and outer arms must be truly engaged. But don’t forget about the legs either. Keep them active and move your spine as well as your shoulder blades into your body’s center.
If you follow all the guidelines mentioned above, you will master the dolphin pose in no time. You will even feel that your body becomes lighter. You must hold this asana for a couple of breaths before coming out of it. Then, you can release the upside-down position. This asana will give you strength, flexibility, and most importantly, will make you feel more confident about yourself.