Ardha Pincha Mayurasana: May Yoga Pose of the Month


Stretches shoulders, hamstrings and calves while strengthening arms, core and back; Calms the mind!

Dolphin Pose (Sanskrit: Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

  • Start on hands and knees with toes curled under – wrists under shoulders and hips over knees. Core is engaged and drawing in towards spine. Shoulder blades are sliding down back with no ditch between them. Place your forearms on floor with elbows under shoulders. Press palms into floor and engage shoulders and arms. Take a few breaths keeping this activation.

  • Take a deep breath in and on your exhale, lift knees away from floor continuing to engage core. Walk through the legs with heels reaching towards mat – have energetic alignment in your pose. If hamstrings are tight, keep a bend in the knees. This will help take strain out of the upper body. Keep knees in the same alignment as hips and ankles. Your legs are in the shape you take in Down Dog. Actively press palms into floor with shoulders away from ears. Arms are internally hugging in. Neck is in alignment with spine. To protect the shoulders, avoid letting them move behind the elbows too much, puffing out armpits. Also avoid letting them move in front of elbows.
  • Begin to bring stillness into the body as you continue to lift the sitting bones towards the sky while pressing heels towards the earth. They may not make it, but the action is there. Your body is in the shape of a capital “A” or upside down “V.” Stay in pose for 3-5 breaths, then release knees to mat. Move into Child’s pose for a counter pose.
  • Side notes: You may have your elbows in the same position with the hands interlaced making one fist as you would have in a Headstand. This is an alternative pose to Down Dog if you have wrist concerns. This pose is also a prep for Forearm Balance (Pincha Mayurasana).

Namaste – The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.


About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).

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