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The Holistic Benefits of Dolphin Pose

Yoga | Yoga Poses

Dolphins are considered many things, including bubbly, creative, playful, and fun-loving. They are well known for their desire to create harmony, peace, and kindness.

Like a dolphin, Dolphin Pose is a great way to dive into your practice and explore the waters of something new. It is an opportunity to strengthen your mind, body, and soul while having fun playing around.


From hands and knees: Bring the forearms to the ground, shoulders over the elbows, fingers facing forward placing the hands directly in front of the elbows, tuck the toes about hip distance apart, lift the hips and belly toward the sky, and focus on lengthening the spine. Let the neck relax and head freely fall from the shoulders.

Hold for 5-10 breaths, then release back into Tabletop position or Child's Pose.

From Down Dog: Place weight equally into both hands, utilize the core to keep lifting up, while slowly lowering both forearms toward the ground, shoulders over the elbows. Continue to lift the upper back, creating space for the head, and lifting the shoulders together and down the spine.

Yogi tip: Walking the feet closer toward the elbows creates a sharper inverted V-shape, as well as increases the intensity of the pose. Lifting one leg at a time helps build strength to one day move into a forearm stand.


For tight hamstring muscles, or if you're being mindful of shoulder and neck injuries, it is helpful to bend the knees to allow the muscles to breathe. For an extra bendy spine, it is important to draw in the lower ribs to support the back.

Additionally, a pillow or blanket under the head can help ease strain on the neck while building strength in this pose. A block comfortably placed somewhere between the elbows to the hands helps activate the arms.

Lastly, if the elbows keep slipping to the sides, a strap placed around the upper arms above the elbows helps keep them in place.

Safety Tips

It is best to avoid this pose if there is concern of high blood pressure, heart, and/or back conditions (i.e. slipped disc), ear hemorrhage, and/or thrombosis.

Additionally, it is best to be mindful when practicing this pose during pregnancy or while experiencing headaches or migraines.

Mental Benefits

The inverted V-shape of Dolphin Pose increases blood flow to the brain which has many mental health benefits. For example, Dolphin Pose is linked to improvement in mild depression symptoms, improved memory, improved concentration, increased awareness, stimulation of the nervous system, and relief from stress and anxiety.

It also helps balance the mind and body which helps decrease insomnia signs and symptoms, and in turn helps reduce fatigue.

Physical Benefits

Dolphin Pose is an excellent whole body workout, especially when held for longer durations.

It helps open the shoulders, armpits, and upper back. It strengthens and increases the flexibility of the spine, hips, arms, and legs. It tones the core and back muscles. It also utilizes the hamstring, gastrocnemius, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, deltoid, quadriceps, intrinsic foot, serratus anterior, and triceps brachii muscles.

Moreover, it helps lower blood pressure, balances the nervous system, and provides a rich supply of blood flow to the brain.

Spiritual Benefits

Dolphin Pose is associated with the sahasrara chakra, or the crown chakra. Sahasrara means thousand-petaled lotus and integrates all the chakras. It is associated with trust, inspiration, devotion, happiness, positivity, and deep connection with self.

Connecting with the dolphin, this is a great opportunity to create harmony, peace, and kindness, spreading joy and love to others as you play around and have fun with your life.

Do you have any alignment tips for Dolphin Pose, or do you know any other benefits of Dolphin Pose? Then share them with us in the comments below!

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
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