How To Do Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

Yoga’s dolphin position, or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana in Sanskrit, can help with balance, strength, and flexibility. It’s a fantastic pose for people who want to strengthen their upper bodies. This pose is especially helpful for me since it lets me relax my shoulders and neck.

I’ll give some advice for newcomers on how to practice properly and securely in this article. I’ll also go over some positions you may do to warm up your body before you start. You should be aware of any contraindications as well.

I’ll talk about typical errors. So that you can stay away from them when practicing, and to provide adjustments and tweaks to make the position more approachable. Depending on your degree of expertise, it might even be more difficult.

So whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner trying to develop your practice, yoga is for you. Continue reading to discover how to incorporate the position into your daily activities.


Step-by-step Instructions

The actions for performing Ardha Pincha Mayurasana are as follows:

  1. Starting on your hands and knees, place your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
  2. With your forearms parallel to one another and spaced shoulder-width apart, lower yourself to the mat.
  3. For stability, keep your palms down and your fingers spread wide.
  4. Put yourself in a modified downward-facing dog pose by tucking your toes under and lifting your knees off the floor.
  5. An inverted “V” shape should be formed by your body.
  6. To lift your thighs back and up, keep your legs straight and contract your quadriceps.
  7. Allowing your head to dangle freely between your arms, forcefully press through your forearms.
  8. Look down at your feet while letting your neck relax.
  9. Make room in your upper back by lengthening your spine and pulling your shoulder blades away from your ears.
  10. For stability, tighten the muscles in your core and move your belly button toward your spine.
  11. To maintain a solid base, keep your heels on the ground and press through your palms and forearms.
  12. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, or for however long feels comfortable, while taking deep breaths.
  13. Returning to a kneeling position after gently bringing your knees back to the mat will relieve the pose.


  • Use padding or a folded blanket beneath your forearms for support if you feel pain or strain in your wrists.
  • Put your attention on stretching your spine and maintaining a straight body.
  • To maintain your body’s weight and prevent your shoulders from sagging, contract your calf muscles.
  • Allow your head to hang freely or place a block under your forehead for support if you have any neck pain.
  • To accommodate your body’s capabilities and restrictions, adjust the pose as necessary.
  • For added support, you can practice the posture with your knees on the mat or against a wall.
  • Your arms, shoulders, and core will become stronger as a result of consistent practice, while your hamstrings and calves will become more flexible.
  • If you have any unique worries or restrictions, get advice from a certified yoga instructor
Pose Dolphin Yoga / Canva
Pose Dolphin Yoga

Yoga Pose – 7 Dolphin Pose Benefits

The following is a list of advantages to practicing:

  1. Upper Body Strengthened: The asana strengthens the muscles in the arms, shoulders, and upper back. The pose’s weight-bearing aspect aids in enhancing these areas’ stability and strength. enhancing posture and lowering the possibility of injury.
  2. Better Core Stability: Holding the poses engages the core muscles, which include the lower back and abdominals. Strengthening the core regularly helps improve stability and maintain a healthy spine.
  3. Greater Shoulder Flexibility: It opens and expands the shoulders, enhancing flexibility there. It may be especially useful for those who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in chairs. Considering that it opposes the rounding of the shoulders.
  4. Spinal Extension: The lengthening of the spine helps to correct alignment and posture. It encourages the spine to gently extend. opposing the negative effects of sitting or slouching and encouraging a good, upright posture.
  5. Better Digestion: The abdominal area is gently compressed, stimulating the digestive system. easing stomach discomfort and encouraging healthy digestion. It can aid in bloating and indigestion relief.
  6. Mild Anxiety and Stress Relief: This position is renowned for its calming effects on the neurological system and the psyche. The pose’s grounding quality and careful breathing might help lessen mild stress and anxiety. fostering a peaceful and relaxed state of mind.
  7. Increased Focus and Concentration: Stability and balance are necessary for maintaining balance, which helps improve mental attention and concentration. By promoting mindfulness, the position enables practitioners to develop a stronger feeling of presence and awareness.

It’s crucial to pay attention to your body and practice within your own limitations with every yoga pose. whether you have any particular conditions or health issues. Then it is advised to speak with a licensed yoga instructor or medical expert. before starting any yoga practice, including Dolphin Pose.

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Beginner Tips

It’s vital to start out slowly and not put too much pressure on yourself. Strength in the arms, shoulders, and core are needed for this intermediate yoga pose.

It’s a hybrid of the downward-facing dog and forearm stand. Your spine will extend as a result, and your neck and shoulders will become less tense.

Get on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart to begin learning the dolphin stance. After that, bring your forearms parallel to one another to the mat.

Next, maintain your knees slightly bent and push your hips toward the ceiling while tucking your toes under. Pull your shoulder blades toward your waist as you firmly press onto your forearms.

Before releasing into Child’s Pose, hold this stance for 5–10 breaths. Warming up with preparatory positions like Peacock Pose or Downward Facing Dog might help you become ready for practice.

Preparatory Poses to Warm Up for Dolphin

You should spend a few minutes hamstringing and extending your shoulders to warm up. Did you realize that lower back pain can be worse by tight hamstrings?

To avoid this, start with some preparatory poses such as Downward Dog, which targets both the hamstrings and upper body strength. Begin in a plank pose with hands shoulder width apart and then lift your hips up towards the ceiling.

Another great preparatory pose is Dolphin Plank Pose. Where you place your forearms on the floor and lift your hips up into a plank position. This pose strengthens core muscles while simultaneously opening up your shoulders.

Keep in mind to move slowly and pay attention to your body. Focus on slowly stretching your hamstrings by holding each stretch for at least five deep breaths if they’re tight. After mastering these warm-up poses, we can move on to the actual Dolphin Pose.

Now let’s talk about contraindications …

Yoga Dolphin Pose / Canva
Yoga Dolphin Pose

Contraindications of Dolphin Pose

Before beginning the practice, it’s important to be aware of any neck or shoulder injuries that may be aggravated by the posture.

Here are some contraindications to be aware of before practicing Ardha Pincha Mayurasana:

  • Avoid Dolphin Pose if you have a current or recent injury to your shoulders, neck, or upper back.
  • If you have high blood pressure or headaches, it’s best to avoid this pose altogether.
  • Pregnant women should also avoid this asana or consult a physician. As it puts pressure on the abdomen and requires core engagement.
  • Finally, those with wrist pain should be cautious when practicing the dolphin. Placing the forearms on the floor can aggravate any pre-existing problems.

Keeping these contraindications in mind will ensure a safe and enjoyable practice. While strengthening your core muscles and hips.

Now let’s move on to common mistakes. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of this powerful asana.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Dolphin Pose

Let’s look at some of the most typical faults that people make when performing this strong yoga stance. This will assist you in doing a safe and successful asana.

Putting too much weight on the wrists is one of the most prevalent faults. Press your forearms into the floor and push your hips toward the ceiling to avoid this.

This will not only relieve the strain on your wrists. It will also aid in the strengthening of your arms and legs. Another blunder is failing to use your core muscles properly. It’s critical to drive your hips back toward your heels.

Hold them both up at the same time. This will aid in the lengthening of your spine. This also works your deep abdominal muscles. By avoiding these typical blunders, you’ll be able to practice safely and receive its many benefits, including relief from menopausal symptoms.

In the following part, we’ll look at some adjustments and variations that can help you personalize this posture to your specific needs.

Modifications and Variations for Dolphin Pose

To keep things new and challenging for your body, you can mix it up and try different versions.

The Dolphin Plank is a variation in which you hold the pose with a straight back and use your core for increased strength training.

The dolphin push-up is yet another version. This is accomplished by lowering your brow to the floor and then pushing back up into the position. These changes provide an additional challenge for those aiming to increase upper body strength.

There are versions of the posture that can focus on different elements of the body and mind, in addition to changes. A leg lift or twist, for example, can strengthen the legs and hips while improving balance.

Another great approach to develop flexibility in this area is to stretch your shoulders by raising one arm toward the ceiling in dolphin posture.

Whichever variant you select. Remember to take deep breaths as you elevate your hips to the ceiling. Also, for optimum benefit from this powerful asana, press your forearms into the floor.

Yoga Dolphin Posture / Canva

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I maintain Dolphin Pose?

I can keep the posture for as long as it seems safe and comfortable for my body. I pay attention to my breathing and exit the pose if I feel any pain or tension.

Does the Dolphin Pose help with stress and anxiety?

Dolphin Pose has helped me manage my stress and anxiety levels on a regular basis. However, it may not be suitable for everyone. It can be useful for mental health to incorporate it into a yoga practice.

Can those with neck or shoulder injuries perform Dolphin Pose?

Yes, the pose can be adapted to accommodate neck and shoulder issues. Personally, I find it beneficial in alleviating tension. However, before practicing, always listen to your body and speak with a healthcare expert or doctor.

Can Dolphin Pose help with posture?

Yes, Dolphin Pose can help you improve your posture by strengthening your upper body and core muscles. Regular practice also aids in the lengthening of the spine. This relieves tension in the shoulders and neck, which can help with alignment.


Dolphin Yoga Pose / Canva


Dolphin Pose, also known as Ardha Pincha Mayurasana, is an excellent addition to any yoga practice. This pose is often used as a way to warm up the body for inversions, such as the forearm stand, and is a beneficial alternative to the popular Downward Facing Dog Pose, or Adho Mukha Svanasana.

The practice of Dolphin Pose helps to strengthen your core, back muscles, and upper body, making you physically stronger and boosting your overall strength and confidence.

It is particularly beneficial for yoga practitioners who want to open up their shoulders and strengthen their arms and legs. The pose also stretches the shoulders and the back of the legs, which are often weak for many individuals.

In Dolphin Pose, the forearms are pressed into the floor, shoulder width apart, and the palms are pressed down as well. This pose involves lifting your knees, tucking your toes under, and lifting your hips towards the ceiling.

The aim is to lengthen the spine and press the hips up and back, creating a feeling of stretch along the length of your spine and in your hamstrings. If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your knees to keep the spine long.

The Dolphin Pose opens up the chest and increases blood flow, which can help to relieve menstrual discomfort and reduce the symptoms of menopause. It also relieves pressure on the wrists, a common issue in many yoga postures.

The practice of Dolphin Pose also prepares the body and mind for more advanced asanas like the Feathered Peacock Pose. It’s a good pose to learn how to do if you’re working towards these more challenging postures. However, if you have certain health conditions, you may want to avoid this pose.

After practicing Dolphin Pose, it’s common to transition into Child’s Pose to relieve and relax the body. This pose also complements other yoga practices such as the Puppy Pose and Downward Dog.

In summary, Dolphin Pose is a beneficial yoga practice that strengthens the core muscles, opens up the body, and helps to lengthen and relieve various parts of the body. It’s a pose that not only makes you physically stronger but also enhances the connection between body and mind.