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Dolphin Pose (Catur Svanasana)

By 05/03/2022September 28th, 2023Yoga Asana
Woman in dolphin yoga pose

Peak Pose: Dolphin Pose | Class Theme: Patience (Kshama)

When the seasons begin change and coming out of a cold, long winter starts looking more and more like spring everyday, the rebirth that takes place is something magical. The shedding of the long winter can feel heavy as new energy is making its way into our awareness. We may find ourselves feeling stuck in the mud as we wait for the arrival of this new season. As all of these shifts happen in the environment around us, it’s common to feel sluggish or lethargic.

Rather than seeing this lethargy as a negative, we can work to reframe this feeling into one of patience. In Sanskrit, patience is called “Kshama” and it reminds us to live in the present moment, forgiving anything that may have caused strife before, so that we can move forward with more grace and ease.

Just as the earth settles into the “in-between” of spring, we can  learn to embrace the theme of patience to help release the weight of winter and remind us that there are brighter days ahead!

What is Dolphin Pose?

Dolphin Pose builds mental stamina and heat in the body. It’s a great pose to balance the season’s shifting heaviness, and bring more clarity, confidence, and strength into our bodies and minds. Dolphin Pose is technically a forearm stand with Downward Facing Dog and it allows us to focus our minds to sit in a place of patience as we learn to balance on our forearms while lifting through our knees and hips.

Lindsay doing downward facing dog

1. Downward Facing Dog

This gentle inversion will stretch the muscles along your legs and back body to help you prepare for dolphin pose.

How to:

From a neutral tabletop position (on your hands and knees), walk both hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back to downward facing dog. You can keep a gentle bend in your knees as you work towards straightening the legs. Press evenly through your hands and feet to find stability in your dog pose.

Girl in plank pose

2. Forearm Plank

Your arms are another integral part to mastering Dolphin Pose. A forearm plank can strengthen your arms in preparation for Catur Svanasana.

How to:

To do a forearm plank, lay on your stomach with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Curl your toes under and lift your legs, hips and chest off the mat. Ensure that your elbows are at 90 degree angles beneath your shoulders.

Lindsay in sphinx pose

3. Sphinx

Sphinx pose is perfect for stretching your lower back and creating space in your chest and forearms. This pose is a good warm-up for dolphin pose because it helps open the shoulders.

How to:

To get into sphinx pose, begin lying face down on your mat. Place your elbows below your shoulders. Press your palms and forearms into the mat and draw your shoulder blades together as you lift your chest. Gaze straight out at the horizon in front of you. Keep your hips, legs and feet straight and engaged behind you, pressing them firmly into the mat. 

4. Dolphin Pose

How to:

Start in a Forearm Plank. Lift your hips and send them up and back. Lengthen through the spine by making sure the neck is long and thighs are lifted. Let your head relax.

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