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Dolphin Pose

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Dolphin pose is an intense, powerful, and challenging shoulder-opening posture. It is particularly effective in opening the backside of the heart and shoulders. It is an effective pose to prepare for deeper backbends, or full inversions like Shoulderstand, Headstand, or Forearm Stand.

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Step By Step

  1. Begin in Tabletop position
  2. Place your elbows under your shoulders with your palms face down
  3. Lift your knees and hips back into a Downward Facing Dog position, but with your forearms remaining down
  4. Press your chest back towards your thighs
  5. Press your forearms and palms firmly into the mat
  6. Breathe deeply
Pose Name


  • Opens the back of the shoulders and heart
  • Lengthens the spine and neck
  • Builds upper body strength
  • Improves posture


  • Shoulder injuries
  • Elbow injuries


  • Interlace your palms into one fist if there is an existing shoulder injury
  • Keep knees on the ground and hands in reverse prayer with your thumbs to the back of your neck


Dolphin pose opens the Heart Chakra (Anahata). This deep shoulder-opening pose, specifically creates space on the backside of this energy center, between the shoulder blades. This is the receptive side of the heart, making Dolphin an excellent pose to become more receptive to love.