Dolphin Pose – Yoga With Adriene

– What’s up everyone? Welcome to Yoga with Adriene.
I’m Adriene. And today on the
Foundations of Yoga Series, we have Dolphin Pose, or
Ardha Pincha Mayurasana. This is an inversion. Yay. You requested it. But it’s an inversion in
which we can work in stages to grow it mindfully and a way that feels
really good and supportive. If you have had shoulder injury, you want to be really mindful
of practicing this posture or maybe just
skip it altogether. Alright, so hop
into something comfy and let’s learn Dolphin Pose. (upbeat music) Alright my friends, let’s
begin today on all fours. Take your time
getting down here. And then when you arrive,
let’s just take a second to really be mindful. Since this is the
Foundations of Yoga, we’re taking the time
to really pay attention to our alignment
into the foundation. So you’ll take your wrists
right underneath the shoulders. And you’ll take your knees
right underneath the hip-points. And whether this is new for you or you’re an experienced yogi, you’ve been on
the path for a while, just kind of come into
this as a beginner’s mind. I find that really
helpful when we’re wanting to go deeper or learn new poses, focusing on everything
from the ground up. Right? From the foundation. So take a second to really root through your
index finger and thumbs. Spread the fingertips wide,
again, wrists underneath the shoulders and knees right
underneath the hip-points. So I say hip-points instead
of hips to really, kind of, get you to bring
it right underneath where the hip socket is, where those bones come together. And then for some,
you’re going to start to go, “Wow my arms are already tired” (laughs) because you’re starting
to work in a way that’s really connected to the
earth, hand to earth. We call that
Hasta Bandha, hand lock. So you press away
from your yoga mat. You kind of claw into
your fingertips here and then you draw the
tops of the shoulders away from the ears. You can actually imagine
turning the right palm to the right as if
you’re opening a jar and the left palm
to the left your left as if you’re opening a jar. (laughs) So lots of action.
Lots of awareness. Then begin to notice if
you’re neck is dropping down, obviously you’re
going to be looking at the video a little bit, but hopefully not a lot
because I’m amazing. I’m going to guide
you with my voice. No.
(laughs) That’s the idea, is to
really give you some time to just listen to the
sound of my voice, check in when you need to,
but give you some time to explore this in your body. So start to check
in with the neck and just have this
awareness of the spine from the crown to the tail. So if you’re really lengthening from the crown to the tail here, the chin wouldn’t be collapsed, or protruding, but rather
tucking slightly gaze down. Then, this is important
here for Dolphin, draw the shoulders
away from the ears, imagine again
opening those pickle jars and just find a little awareness through the upper back body. So if you’re collapsing
the shoulders here, this is a good moment
to peek at the video, if you’re collapsed here,
you’re going to want to lift up between this space. Excuse me, lift up between
the two shoulder blades, creating space here, broadening. And then, again,
those pickle jars, drawing the shoulders
away from the ears, really firming the shoulder
blades down the back body. That’s a hard cue to
take, so just play here. Basically bringing some
super awesome awareness into the upper back body. Cool. Then we travel
down the spine. Just notice if you’re
collapsed in the lower back, see if you can find length
in the lower back, the spine, by lengthening the tail towards
the back edge of your mat. Navel draws up. So now I have all this
awareness in the hands. If arms get tired, you
can come to the fists for a little bit. Takes practice. We’ve all this awareness
from the crown to the tail. We’re not collapsing
in the upper back body. We’re not collapsing
in the lower back body. In fact, we call this connecting
to that center channel, that plumb-line. I often refer to it as the
danda, the line of the spine, the stick, or the staff. You might also hear to
it, hear to it? (laughs) Hear it referred to as the mid-line,
the center plumb-line. So we’re just finding a
little bit of containment in the front body length
through the spine. Awareness in the back body. Cool, then go ahead and
curl the toes and walk back and just take a little break. Maybe rotate the
wrists a little bit. Maybe give yourself a
little forearm massage. I don’t know where,
but I read once that massaging the forearm is like a good foreplay massage, like a weird
aphrodisiac stimulus. (laughs) Bonus. Bonus reason to share
this Dolphin video. No. I don’t even know
if that’s true, so don’t believe everything
you hear on the internet. So if I’m ever getting this part of my arm massaged by anyone, I’m always trying
to not be weird, but just notice, “How
does this make me feel?” Usually it’s me
rubbing my own arm (laughs) in yoga. Okay, let’s come back to
the pose, back to the focus, preparing for Dolphin. So I’m going to come back
to my table top position. You join me whenever
you’re ready. And once again, going
through your checklist: knees underneath hip-points, wrists underneath the shoulders, draw the shoulders
away from the ears, awareness in the back body. A bit of containment,
drawing energy up through the front body. Navel up, heart lifting up
between the shoulder blades. Lengthen the spine and then
try to maintain that length, that awareness at least. Tops of the feet
pressing into the earth. So often they’re
going to come in, we’re just not
spreading the awareness all the way to the toes. So keep that awareness,
spreading through the toes. And I’m just gonna
drop one elbow right exactly where
that hand was, so it’s right
underneath the shoulder and the other right
underneath the shoulder. Right away I’d like
you to pay attention to what happened to the wrists. See if you can keep the forearms that I just so eloquently referred to (laughs) in
that massage moment… See if you can them parallel
like two railroad tracks. And then for now, just
see if you can go through that same checklist here:
length through the crown, length through the tail. So you probably will draw
the navel up a little bit. And then just notice if you’re
collapsing in the shoulders, find that broadness
through the upper back. Okay, it’s really important
as you’re learning a posture to focus on the sensation
rather than the shape. I can’t tell you how
many times I personally, especially when I was
younger, would just kind of bypass that exploration time. And then I was never actually
able to embody a shape fully, joyfully,
safely in my body. So yeah, just focus
on sensation here as you grow your posture, as
you learn or relearn your body. Cool, one more breath here. You should feel
this in the shoulders, tops of the shoulders,
drawing away from the ears, pressing away from the yoga mat. Again, root that
index finger and thumb. And then we’ll take a
break, Puppy Posture. Great opening for the shoulders. You’re just going to
walk your knees back. I’m actually going to walk
up just to stay on my mat. But walk your knees
back and try to keep on those railroad
tracks best you can and try to keep the index
finger and thumb rooted. Now, if you have
super tight shoulders, which a lot of people do, you might not be able to bring
the forehead to the mat here, in which case you
can use a blocky to bring the
forehead to the block or you can use a little
pillow or rolled up towel. And then this
is a really nice way to prep Dolphin, Puppy Posture. To open tight shoulders,
open through the chest, and to really work on the
integrity of your foundation. So a lot of times as you
start to come into this shape, the fingers will come in,
the wrists want to come in because that’s how I feel
better in this shape. But if we’re wanting to
get into the right areas of the body, we’re going to
work slowly and mindfully. Keeping the hands where
they are. Two parallel lines. So this could be, if you’re feeling it here and you’ll know your shoulders
will be speaking to you, telling you sweet nothings, whispering sweet nothings. You might just stay here and not actually even
work in Dolphin today. Just breathing deep and then
working on your foundation slowly from here,
drawing navel up, lengthening through the crown, sending your gaze
towards your knees. This might be your Dolphin. So we have this Puppy Posture,
also called Anahatasana, Heart to Earth pose. Or you can begin to
work your Dolphin there just nice and slow. So, again, you’re
releasing, heart to earth, or you’re starting to
work your Dolphin here because you’ll feel too
tight in the shoulders to go any further. If you’re ready to go
a little bit further, maybe you’re returning to
this video or you’re like, “I wanna give it a try”, we’re going to slowly
lift the heart forward between the elbows. If you need to take a
break too for a second, you just curl the toes,
come back, lift your heart
over your pelvis. But if you’re ready to
go into this inversion, deeper inversion, we will move
from Puppy Posture all the way back
to where the heart is between the elbows here. And I’m just using
literally my eyeballs to check out my foundation here, rooting down
through that index finger, drawing the shoulders
away from the ears, and, again, shoulder
blades down the back body. Then curl the toes under
if they are not already, take a deep breath in, and a long breath out. Keep an awareness on your
breath as you inhale in again and this time, on a exhale
lifting one knee then the other. Take a second to pedal it
out just a little bit here and keep a nice strong
foundation in the arms. Now, nice and slow, I’m
going to come to stillness but I highly recommend you
keep your knees bent here, especially if you’re
new to the practice. And eventually we’ll come all
the way to this shape guys. But even my hamstrings are
a little tight here today, so nice and soft,
bending the knees, we’ll come into a place of
stillness and allow the breath to fill this body here,
this shape. Gaze is towards
the toes or the knees. Eventually we can take
the gaze straight down, especially if we’re working
up to pincha mayurasana. Right? Kicking up. Breathing deep,
take one more breath here, and then slowly lower the knees and come all the way to seated. Flip the palms, inhale. Lift the heart. Exhale, relax the shoulders. Inhale deeply. And exhale completely. So for me, in the
Foundations of Yoga, it’s really important
that I’m not just showing you the posture because you can see that
anywhere on the internet. This is an opportunity
for us to workshop, to explore these shapes and
the sensations of these shapes in our body at home,
safely and mindfully. So you need to
be really mindful, definitely if you have something
going on in the shoulders, but everyone, really mindful as a way of exploring
your practice and growing. So we’re going
to take locust arms here, interlace the fingertips behind, knuckles drawn down and away, Just a little counter pose. And then we’ll check out
Dolphin one more time. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. One more big inhale and exhale to release. Alright from all fours,
we’ll dive back in. Dropping the elbows
where the hands are. And right away finding your
foundation, not collapsing, but pressing away
from your yoga mat. Root down through
the index fingers. So in this second round
we’d offer a couple variations. But for now, wrists in
line with the elbows, elbows right
underneath the shoulders, and when you’re
ready we’ll walk it back. Puppy Posture first,
you might just stay here working on Dolphin by
drawing the navel up, finding that containment
through the mid-line. Or if you’re ready,
we’ll curl the toes under, inhale in and exhale,
lifting hips up high. Now this time, whether the
knees are bent or straight, ankles, heels reaching
down towards the earth. Heels do not have to touch. Mine are not touching today.
I’m not warmed up. Eventually, if I’m in
the middle of class, I can get to a Dolphin where
my heels are on the ground but I’m not going
to rush that today. Again, focusing
sensation over shape. Couple of action points
to grow your practice: draw energy up from the
ankles, the inner ankles, the arches of the feet, all the way up through the
inner thighs into the groin, lifting hips up
high towards the sky. Almost as if you’re
lifting your butt cheeks up towards the ceiling. Keep breathing. Tops of the shoulders externally
rotate away from the ears. Breathing deep here. Navel draws in and up,
uddiyana bandha, that’ll hug the lower
ribs in just a little bit and allow you to
create that broadness in the upper back body. Couple of variations here:
can bring the palms together, fists together, or we can work to
bring our gaze forward by carving a line with the nose, keeping that broadness
as you press away. Eventually, we’ll kick up into picha mayurasna,
an inversion. But this is your inversion
too, strong and steady. We’ll take two more
breaths here, breath deep. Slowly release knees
to the ground, rolling up nice and slow: one, to be safe and mindulful, but two, to find
what feels good. Feel the effects of this pose
as you lift head over heart, heart over pelvis. Flip the palms up and
close your eyes and observe observe your breath. Observe that sensation. For me, it’s like a fresh
wash of blood in the arms, and the head,
the neck, the shoulders. And one more time,
reaching the fingertips around, shalabhasana arms is a great
counter pose to Dolphin. Interlacing the
fingertips behind, drawing the knuckles
down and away. So if you spend a lot of
time with your arms in front, this little routine
of just Cat/Cow, maybe add a little Cat/Cow, Dolphin, and then Locust
Arms, that’ll change your day. That’ll change your life. Great, take one more
deep breath in here and then release. Awesome work. Alrighty, my friends, if you
like this video I encourage you to go check out the
Foundations of Yoga playlist. This is an on-going
library of poses where we really
just take the time that you don’t normally have, in the Yoga Flow video
or a vinyasa public class and really take the time to find what feels good in your body. That’s correct action
and alignment, but also the sensation right? Every body is different,
so if you want to have a lifelong
practice that feels good and is totally safe
and injury-free, and just helps you move with
ease in your regular life so you can carry your
groceries when you’re 90 and carry your neighbor’s
groceries too, be a good person, then I highly recommend
you dive into that playlist and see what it’s all about. Alright, let me know
how it goes down below. Questions,
comments always welcome. Subscribe to the channel
if you haven’t already. Share this with your friends,
your enemies, your neighbors, and take good care. I’ll see you next time.
Namaste. (upbeat music)

Joseph Wolf

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