Dolphin Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana) Benefits, Steps, Precautions,Tips

What does mean of Dolphin Plank Pose?

Dolphin Plank Pose is English word in yoga. Sanskrit word is “Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana”, and Pronunciation is (MAH-kar-ah ah-doh moo-kuh SVAH-NAH-sah-nah). If we talk about its meaning is Makara: “Crocodile”,  Adho: “down”, Mukha: “facing”, Svana: “dog”, Asana: “posture”.

Dolphin Plank pose is similar to the plank pose with the only difference being that you balance the weight on your forearms instead of hands. Therefore, it is only the toes and forearms that lie on the floor, while the whole body is lifted and straightened.

Makara adho mukha svanasana tones your entire body, it strengthens and tones from the toes to the abdominals and straight to the head.

It is an intermediate pose that requires any yoga practitioner to have his or her own body awareness in terms of alignment in the pose. Your strong arms, core and legs are required to achieve the full expression of the pose.

Preparatory Poses
Plank Pose

Follow-up Poses
Salabhasana (arms only)

This article gives you the right way of Dolphin Plank Pose, the health benefits of Dolphin Plank Pose and the precautions to be taken while practicing it.

A Girl doing a Dolphin Plank Pose, It is also called Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana Steps

1)- First of all, you should align the wrists of your hands directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips and lower your elbows to the floor directly under your shoulders.

2)- Now keep your forearms parallel to each other and on the sides of the edge of your mat. Distribute your weight equally on both forearms. Breathe smoothly and evenly through your nose.

3)- Now you plant your toes on the floor and bring your body and head in a straight line and align your heels on your toes.

4)- Now raise your thighs and make sure that your hips are also aligned with the thighs so that your shoulders are directly above your elbows.

5)- The next step is to contract your abdominals and pull your pelvic floor muscles towards your spine. Keep your head in line with your spine.

6)- Now stretch your shoulder blades and collarbone and look forward and down slightly to keep your neck in line with your spine.

7)- If you are doing this asana for the first time, then you should maintain this posture while breathing smoothly for 5-10 breaths.

8)- To release the Dolphin Plank Pose, slowly lower yourself on your knees, then come back into the child’s pose (Balasana) and relax. You repeat this asana up to 10 times.

Note: Advanced practitioners and those using the pose to build stamina can hold for up to five minutes.

Beginner’s Tip

Relieve any neck tension by resting your forehead on a block set between your forearms.

Benefits of Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • By doing this asana, your shoulders and entire arm muscles stretch. When you balance the body on the forearms, there is pressure on your shoulders and elbows, which strengthens the forearms, upper arms, relaxes the wrists, and tones the arm muscles.
  • Dolphin Plank Pose By doing this pose the core muscles are also continuously engaged while working on the forearms and toes while maintaining balance. With this, it contracts the abdominal muscles and tones the abdominal organs.
  • When this mudra is done, except your toes, the lower body also remains raised from the floor. By activating the arches, the calf and hamstring muscles are also stretched, which increases the flexibility and strength of the leg muscles.
  • By doing this asana, it also works great as a workout to burn the fat around the abdomen. Therefore, Dolphin Plank Pose is an excellent stretching pose to get a toned body and a flat stomach.
  • By doing this asana, pressure is experienced in the abdominal muscles. Thereby increasing the blood flow to this area, it facilitate the better functioning of the digestive organs. It induces the secretion of enzymes and digestive juices. Due to which it helps in improving digestion.
  • Since this pose stretches the muscles of the upper body especially the back and neck, thus, works on the entire spine starting from the crown of the head and also strengthens the spine.
  • Dolphin plank pose is performed keeping the back straight and the body aligned from head to toe, hence it enhances the strength of the back muscles and also corrects any posture defects.
  • The Dolphin plank pose is a super benefit pose. That enhances blood circulation, stamina. It lets you go beyond your limits and helps you overcome mental blockages and obstacles. Plus it supplies oxygenated blood to the nervous system, so it cures your depression, anxiety, or any mental stress.

Precautions to While Doing Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • Avoid doing this pose if you have injuries around the spine, back and neck muscles.
  • People suffering from recent or recurring issues or injuries to the wrist, shoulder, or back should avoid or use caution when practicing Dolphin Plank Pose.
  • Avoid Dolphin Plank Pose if you are one of the people with high blood pressure.
  • While doing the Dolphin Plank Pose, keep the shoulders relaxed and away from the shoulders.
  • Anyway, in case of any disease, yoga asanas should be done under the supervision of a skilled specialist and only after consulting a doctor.

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