Dolphin
ARDHA PIÑCHA MAYŪRĀSANA (अर्ध पिञ्च मयूरासन)
(AR-dhuh PIN-chuh may-oohr-AHH-sah-nah)

 


‘Ardha’= half, ‘Piñcha’= feathered, ‘Mayūra’= peacock, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Half Feathered Peacock Pose (Ardha Pīñca Mayūrāsana)
Half Peacock Feather
Peacock Feather Preparation
Makarasana
Catur Svanasana
Chatur Svanasana
Shishulasana
Quarter Dog Pose
Puppy Pose

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Pose Type: Standing / Inversion / Stretch / Forward-Bend

Drsti
• At the floor – Between the feet/ankles

1. Start in Table Pose (Bharmanasana), on your hands and knees, with your knees under your hips and your shoulders over your wrists.
2. Lengthen the back of your neck to be in line with your spine and curl your toes under.
3. Place your forearms on the mat, parallel to each other, and spread your fingers while pushing down into your forearms and palms, grounding them to the mat. Alternatively, you can clasp your hands together in a Venus Lock, keeping your elbows parallel to each other, and grounding yourself through your forearms and locked hands. In both placements, make sure that your arms and shoulders are aligned.
4. Press down through the shoulders to the forearms and palms (or locked hands), lifting the hips up and back, while using your quadriceps to gradually straighten your legs. If possible, press your heels down to the mat.
5. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart, with your body pointed like a triangle in an ‘A’ shape, or upside down ‘V’ shape. This allows for your arms, shoulders, spine, and hips to be in alignment as well as your hips, knees, and heels.
6. Focus on keeping your spine straight, your shoulder blades together, your shoulders broad, and your chest open. The neck should be soft and in line with the spine, while the crown of the head rests softly on the mat. Gaze toward your knees.
7. Engage your core to lengthen your torso and pull the belly into the spine, reaching the tailbone up.
8. Hold the pose for several breaths (about 20 seconds to increase strength).
9. When ready, slowly release back to the mat and into Table Pose (Bharmanasana).

Common Adjustments
• Shoulders not broad or lifted towards ears
• Spine rounded
• Core not engaged
• Forearms not pressed to the mat (elbows raised)
• Feet too far out or too close together (out of alignment)
• Head dropping
• Chin tucked in
• Knees locked
• Leg muscles not engaged
• Pelvis tucked under

Modifications
• For students who have difficulty placing their forearms on the mat, or keeping their heels down, place a block or chair under their forearms.
• Students whose heels come off the floor can place a blanket, bolster, or folded mat under the heels for support. Alternatively, they can place their heels against the wall.
• If the head does not reach the mat and/or feels heavy to the student, place a blanket or bolster under the head for support.
• Students who have difficulty keeping their forearms parallel to each other can either place a block between the index fingers or clasp the hands together in a Venus Lock. You can also add a strap around the arms, just above the elbow, in either modification, for additional assistance.
• Students who have little flexibility in the spine, have too much pressure in the lower back, shoulder, or neck, or cannot keep their legs straight, should keep their knees slightly bent.
• For advanced students, have them walk their feet in closer to the hands for a deeper stretch.

Counter Poses
• Locust (Salabhasana)
• Corpse (Savasana) or Reverse Corpse (Advasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana) or Extended Child’s Pose (Utthita Balasana)
• Wide Child’s Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

Anatomy
• Chest (Pectoralis Major)• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Biceps and Triceps• Abdomen (Core) and Obliques
• Upper (cervical), Middle (Thoracic) and Lower (Lumber) Back and Spine• Hips (Iliopsoas)
• Gluteus Maximums, Medius, and Minimus (Glutes)• Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Calf muscles• Ankles

Benefits
• Strengthens and stretches the shoulders, arms, back, abdomen, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
• Opens the chest, shoulders, and upper back, as well as lengthens the spine, which improves posture and alignment. Also, energizes the body and activates various glands.
• Improves circulation, digestion and stimulates the nervous system, which calms the brain and is therapeutic for students with headaches, mild depression, stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, backaches, sciatica, asthma and high blood pressure.
• Good pose to prepare for advanced headstand poses, as it builds upper body strength.
• Good for pregnant women and helps relieve symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.

Contraindications
1. Students with severe back, neck, arm, and/or shoulder injuries or inflammation should avoid this pose.
2. Students with tight hamstrings, have a weak back and/or hips should use caution and utilize props.
3. Students with unmedicated high blood pressure and glaucoma should be cautious in this pose.

Bandha
• Mula Bandha
• Uddiyana Bandha

Chakras
Chakra Three:Solar Plexus, Self-Power, or Manipura (lustrous gem) Chakra. This is the combustion, power, and energy chakra. Its goals are vitality, strength of will, and purpose. Its location is the solar plexus.
Chakra Four:Heart, Love, or Anahata (Unstuck) Chakra. This is the love and equilibrium chakra. Its goals are balance, compassion, and acceptance. Its location is the heart.
Chakra Five:Throat, Visuddha, Vissudha, Vishuddhi, or Vishuddha (purification) Chakra. This is the communications and sympathetic vibrations chakra. Its goals are clear communication, creativity, and resonance. Its location is the throat.
Chakra Six:Third-Eye or Ajna (to perceive) Chakra. This is the intuition and projection chakra. Its goals are psychic perception and imagination. Its location is the brow.
Chakra Seven:Crown or Sahasrara (Thousandfold) Chakra. This is the understanding and consciousness chakra. Its goals are wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual connection. Its location is the top of the head.

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