How To Do Dolphin Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Dolphin Plank Pose, also known as Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit. This dynamic practice combines two traditional yoga poses to create a workout that will test you and give you a sense of empowerment.

Experience dolphin pose strength combined with core-strengthening stability for a challenging yet energizing spiritual workout. Find out more about this fantastic form right now!

Yoga Dolphin Plank Pose is one of those postures that can develop your practice whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, but safety should always come first! So let’s get started and investigate all the methods and alignment required for this powerful pose.


Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Start in Dolphin Pose: To get into Dolphin Pose, come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists. Firmly press your palms together and your forearms into the floor.
  2. Move into Dolphin Plank: From Dolphin Pose, on an exhale, step back to extend your legs behind you, like you would in a traditional Plank Pose.
  3. Align Your Body: Keep your torso parallel to the floor and your legs straight, in line with the rest of your body. Ensure that your tailbone is lengthening towards your heels and your core is engaged to support the spine.
  4. Check Your Shoulder Position: Your shoulders should be stacked directly above your elbows, forearms straight and parallel with the sides of your mat.
  5. Look Forward: Keep your gaze slightly ahead of your hands to maintain a relaxed neck.
  6. Hold the Pose: Try to maintain this pose for 5 breaths or as long as you can maintain good form.
  7. Release: To exit the pose, lower your knees to the floor on an exhale, take a few breaths, and then sit back on your heels to come into Child’s Pose for a few moments of rest.

Always listen to your body and come out of the pose if you feel any sharp or pinching sensations. As your strength and stamina increase, you will be able to hold the pose for longer periods. And like all yoga poses, it’s the quality of the pose that matters, not how long you can hold it. Enjoy your practice!

7 Benefits of Dolphin Plank Pose

Here are some of the benefits Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana:

  1. Strengthens the Upper Body: This pose helps in strengthening the arms, shoulders, and the upper back. It can increase upper body strength and endurance over time.
  2. Enhances Core Strength: This pose is excellent for strengthening the core muscles, including the abs and lower back. These muscles are crucial for stability and can help improve balance and posture.
  3. Improves Stability: This pose can help improve stability as it strengthens the core and upper body. It can be particularly helpful in enhancing balance and coordination.
  4. Tones the Abdominals: The posture is a great way to tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles, which can help improve the appearance of your midsection.
  5. Boosts Metabolism: This pose can also stimulate the digestive system, helping to boost metabolism and potentially aid in weight loss.
  6. Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Like many yoga poses, Dolphin Plank can help reduce stress and anxiety. It promotes focus on the breath and the body, which can help distract from stressful thoughts and promote a sense of peace and relaxation.
  7. Improves Circulation: This pose can also enhance circulation throughout the body, which can boost energy levels and improve overall health.

Remember to always listen to your body when practicing yoga. While the asana has many benefits, it should be avoided or modified if you have any shoulder, neck, or wrist injuries. It’s always a good idea to work with a knowledgeable yoga instructor to ensure you’re doing the poses correctly and safely.


It’s crucial to warm up and stretch your muscles before entering the pose. Your body might be better prepared for the poses by doing some light stretching exercises like forward bends or seated twists.

It’s also crucial to focus on your breathing as you warm up. As you start each motion, take a few calm, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will ease any tension before involving it further with the pose and keep you focused on the here and now.

Additionally, proper body alignment is essential when performing yoga poses like this one. All of your muscles should be used throughout the entire practice.

From maintaining your core tight while rising your hips toward the ceiling in the dolphin position to keeping your feet pressed into the ground during a plank hold. So that you can obtain the most from each posture, maintaining appropriate form helps to assure safety and stability.

Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana Pose / Canva

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Now that you understand the steps to perform this posture, it is important to recognize common mistakes and how to avoid them. When practicing this pose, wrong alignment, improper breathing, wrong posturing or incorrect positioning can result in an ineffective practice.

However, with mindful attention these errors can be corrected and your practice will become more effective.

MistakeHow To Avoid
Wrong AlignmentPay careful attention when setting up each of your body parts for proper alignment
Improper BreathingFocus on inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling fully through the mouth
Wrong PostureKeep a straight line from head to tailbone while engaging the core muscles
Wrong TimingMove slowly into each posture and hold for at least five breaths before releasing
Incorrect PositionMake sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders – adjust as necessary until they feel comfortable

By recognizing and avoiding these common mistakes during yoga practice, one can ensure safety as well as effectiveness of their poses. With conscious effort put towards aligning properly and timing movements correctly in combination with deep breath work, you will have a strong foundation for your practice.

Moving forward we’ll look at modifications and variations, so you can continue expanding your skillset!

Modifications And Variations

The asana is a great way to strengthen your core and shoulders. But it can be challenging for some people, so there are modifications that can make the pose more accessible.

Here are four variations of the posture that you may want to try:

  • Modified Plank Pose 1: This variation involves going onto all fours with hands slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Keeping your spine straight, lower down until your elbows come close to the floor and engage your abdominals while pressing up into an inverted ‘V’ shape. Benefits include strengthening the arms and torso muscles as well as creating balance in the body.
  • Modified Plank Pose 2: To modify this version of the pose, begin on all fours then move one leg back at a time towards a high plank position. Make sure to keep your hips level and press both palms firmly into the ground. Benefits include increased strength in the legs and glutes as well as improved coordination between upper and lower body movements.
  • Modified Plank Pose 3: If you find yourself unable to hold a traditional plank, try coming onto your forearms instead of keeping them straight out behind you. Keeping your belly button drawn in towards your spine will help engage abdominal muscles without putting too much stress on the wrists or shoulders. Benefits include reducing strain on joints while still benefitting from core engagement.
  • Modified Plank Pose 4: Another option is to bring one knee forward at a time, alternating sides each rep while maintaining proper form throughout the movement. Benefits include building endurance, improving hip mobility, and increasing stability in shoulder girdle muscles over time.

No matter which variation you choose, always focus on correct alignment when practicing any type of plank pose. Connecting with breath helps create steadiness within the postures – inhale deeply through nose then exhale fully through mouth for maximum benefit! With mindful practice, these modifications provide access to many benefits of yoga even if traditional planks aren’t yet possible for you.

Tips For Advanced Practitioners

For advanced practitioners looking to challenge themselves with a yoga Dolphin Plank Pose, we suggest taking it up a notch. Starting in the low-plank position, lift your hips and press your chest towards your thighs as you move into an arm balance dolphin.

This will create a deep backbend stretch that not only strengthens the core muscles but also helps open the heart chakra. You can further intensify this pose by using advanced breathing techniques like alternate nostril breath or Ujjayi Pranayama.

For an even greater yoga dolphin challenge, try lifting one foot off of the ground while maintaining balance on just one arm!

The key to mastering these more difficult poses is balancing strength with flexibility. Holding any challenging pose for too long without proper preparation could be dangerous; so take time to build up your strength and endurance before attempting such postures.

Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana Yoga Pose / Canva

How Long To Hold Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana?

It’s time to get serious about the yoga Dolphin Plank Pose. Are you ready? To really reap the benefits from this powerful asana, it’s important to consider how long you should be holding it for. The length of your hold and duration of practice will depend on your individual level of fitness and experience with yoga poses.

For more advanced practitioners, we recommend a longer hold of up to two minutes. This is enough time to feel the full effects of the pose while also allowing ample rest between each repetition.

For beginners or those who are new to this particular posture, a shorter hold may be best in order to avoid injury and soreness. Aim for around 30 seconds at first and gradually increase over time if desired.

No matter what level you’re currently practicing at, make sure that the amount of time spent in the pose feels comfortable for you – stretching beyond your limits can cause strain and fatigue instead of providing results!

Ultimately, when determining how long to stay in any given asana, follow your body’s cues: listen carefully so that you don’t push too far too quickly.

Taking into account sequence combinations with other postures can also help inform your decision-making process. Having an idea of which poses come before or after will give you a better understanding of how much effort and energy needs to go into each one.

Sequences Combining The Pose With Other Asanas

Combining the yoga dolphin with other asanas is a great way to challenge your core strength and flexibility. You can create an interesting flow by transitioning from one pose to another, creating a unique sequence that will work all of your muscles.

There are many creative ways to combine different poses into a Dolphin Plank Pose flow – such as including downward dog, cobra or upward facing dog for some added variety. Additionally, there are several variations on the plank pose itself which you can use to customize your practice and target specific muscle groups.

To switch up your routine even further, consider adding in some arm balances like crow pose or side planks, as well as backbends like wheel pose or bridge pose. This will help increase your range of motion while also strengthening and toning your body overall.

By combining these elements together into a single sequence, you’ll have an effective full-body workout! Moving onto the next section…

Benefits For Specific Health Conditions

Ah, the “Dolphin Plank Pose”, you might say. Why is it so special? Well, let me tell you, my friends: its benefits are simply incomparable! Here’s a sneak peak at what this power-pose can do for specific health conditions:

Health ConditionBenefits
Joint PainReduced inflammation and improved mobility
Anxiety ReliefReduced stress hormones in body
Better CirculationIncreased blood flow throughout body
Diabetes ManagementImproved insulin sensitivity
Improved Respirationincreased oxygen intake

Safety Precautions And Contraindication

Now that we have discussed the potential benefits of Dolphin Plank Pose for specific health conditions, it is important to consider safety precautions before attempting this pose. As a beginner yogi, your safety should always come first and be paramount in any practice you undertake.

Here are some considerations when practicing Dolphin Plank Pose:

  • Use yoga props such as blocks or bolsters if necessary, especially if you experience pain or discomfort in the wrists or shoulders.
  • Always listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right, don’t force it! You can modify the pose with blocks or cushions until you gain strength and mobility.
  • Pay special attention to alignment; make sure your elbows line up directly below your shoulders and keep an engaged core throughout the pose.

Safety is key to every yoga practice, so take time to research poses before attempting them and ensure they are safe for you given any existing health conditions.

Precautionary Measures For Beginners

When starting yoga Dolphin Plank Pose, it is important to consider the beginner safety measures first. This pose can be challenging even for experienced yogis as a result of its intense nature and high intensity. As such, it is essential to take precautionary steps before attempting this posture in order to prevent any injuries or discomfort.

Below are some tips on how beginners can safely start practicing yoga dolphin plank:

TipsBeginner Safety Measures
Take your timeStart slowly and build up gradually over time until you’re comfortable with the technique
Engage coreMake sure to engage your abdominal muscles while holding the pose in order to help stabilize yourself throughout the practice session
Maintain balanceKeep your body aligned by focusing on keeping your hips squared and shoulders back during the pose
Listen to your bodyIf at any point during the practice session you feel uncomfortable or experience pain, stop immediately
Use modifications/props if neededIf necessary, use props such as blocks or bolsters for extra support

Considering these precautionary measures can ensure safe execution of the posture without causing harm or injury. With mindful awareness and dedication, beginning practitioners can easily enjoy all of the benefits of Dolphin Plank!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Differences Between A Standard Plank Pose And A Yoga Dolphin Plank Pose?

Plank variations can target different body parts. The yoga dolphin plank position challenges flexibility and strength seekers. What distinguishes this advanced plank from the standard one?

Each exercise’s core muscular work is the key difference. The basic plank involves holding yourself up with your arms and maintaining your torso straight.

This targets abdominals, shoulders, and back. The yoga dolphin plank stance, which requires you to lift one leg at a time, is significantly harder than its predecessor.

This pose requires joint mobility and muscle control. Yoga dolphin planks need shoulder flexion, hip extension, and ankle dorsiflexion to establish proper alignment. Regular practice improves balance and coordination.

What Other Yoga Poses Can Be Combined With The Yoga Dolphin Plank Pose?

Yoga poses can be combined to make more complicated and intriguing sequences. Some plank position variants can make your workout harder. The Yoga Dolphin Plank Pose combines two powerful poses.

Starting with your forearms on the ground, thrust up into Downward Facing Dog. From here, stretch your fingers wide and press down hard into the mat as you lift one leg at a time until both legs are behind you and parallel to the floor. Keep your core engaged throughout this position to maximize its advantages.

Is The Yoga Dolphin Plank Pose Suitable For People With Back Pain?

Talk to your healthcare provider first, if yoga is suitable for you!

‘A healthy body is a happy mind’, especially for back pain sufferers. The yoga dolphin plank stance might ease your discomfort without straining your restricted flexibility.

This back-pain-relieving stance has various advantages over others. First, it strengthens abdominal and arm muscles, which are crucial for healthy posture.

Second, utilize blocks or blankets to avoid straining while doing the pose.

Finally, the Dolphin Plank Pose improves body stability by balancing core strength and spinal alignment.

Dolphin Plank Pose / Canva


Yoga embodies power, balance, and concentration in Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana. This stance, like the Plank stance, strengthens the core, abdominal, and back muscles. The pose is a forearm plank variation, balances the body weight on the forearms instead of the hands.

The asana builds core and body strength. It aligns, activates quadriceps, strengthens upper back, and tones arms and shoulders. Maintaining a straight body posture, press your forearms to the ground in this pose. The position is supported by elbows under shoulders and parallel forearms.

This position requires a relaxed neck and slightly pulled shoulder blades. A block beneath the forehead or bending one leg might support the neck.

This yoga exercise goes beyond physical fitness. Holding the posture, focusing on your breath and alignment, builds mental toughness. Yoga strengthens the body head-to-toe. Holding the stance may be difficult, but the goal is to recognize and respect your limits.

The Dolphin Plank also reduces carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoporosis. If you have medical conditions, visit a yoga teacher or doctor. This pose may not be suited for people with severe osteoporosis or wrist issues.

The Dolphin Plank Pose embodies yoga. Engaging your complete body, from your forearms and toes to your core, is more than just a stance. Learn balance, awareness, and patience.