Dolphin Pose:

Name: Dolphin Pose

Sanskrit: Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Pronunciation: Ar-duh PIN-chuh my-YUR-AH-sah-nah

Pose Level: Intermediate yoga pose

dolphin pose

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  • Position yourself on your knees on the mat. Then, place your forearms on the ground and with your hands gripping the opposite elbows. Leaving your elbows where they are, join your hands by interlacing your fingers, and place them on the ground.
  • Rest your head on the ground, in contact with your hands, on the hairline area, between the forehead and the top of the head. The cup formed by the hands will be in contact with the top of the head, fixing it to the ground and preventing it from sliding forward. Position the head well on the ground. Attempt to keep it stationary for entire execution of the asana. The folded arms create a good support base.
  • Stretch your legs, lift up on your toes, bringing your butt upwards and forming a triangle (legs-back-mat).
  • Starting from this position, gradually bring the toes closer to the face, trying to bring the spine perpendicular to the ground.
  • This is the final position. Breathe slowly and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Stay in the position for a few minutes, or until you can balance the effort and relaxation.
  • Then, calmly bend your knees, rest them on the ground again, breathe before lifting and returning to the starting position.


  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Core
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Lower back

Pose Modifications:

Their are a few modifications to this pose. Number one the practitioner may interlock the hands. Consequently, this can help for those with weak arms and wrists.

If unable to touch the heels to the ground, try a yoga block underneath the heels.


This asana does require balance and control. It may not be best to practice for those whom have shoulder injuries, tendonitis or inflammation in this area.

If pregnant, it’s important to first check with a medical practitioner.

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:

Child Pose, Plank Pose, Forearm Plank

Poses Commonly Transitioned From:

Downward-Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend