It's been balmy if not tropical here in Edmonton this week. And all I think about is the crystal blue waters of the ocean rather than the brown ripples of the North Saskatchewan river!
It seemed fitting in this week's practice that I dabble in dolphin (Makarasana) pose, which makes me think of visits to southern climates or tours on a cruise. One of the coolest things I've ever seen is a large pod (yes, this is what a group is called) of dolphins swimming in the waves next to the cruise ship I was on. Such lovely animals that glide effortlessly in the water.
Now, my dolphin pose may have not been effortless or lovely this week BUT I gave it a try!
Initially, I had thought dolphin pose was a variation of downward facing dog. However, with further exploration I soon realized it is actually a precursor to a inversions such as a headstand. The amount of force applied to the upper body, particularly the upper back musculature, is tremendous (try holding the pose for a while!) So, when you don't feel like trying an inversion, dolphin pose might be just the next best thing.
According to Yoga Journal, the benefits of dolphin pose are:
Furthermore, in Timothy McCall's book, Yoga as Medicine, it is recommends to do dolphin pose when one has carpal tunnel syndrome as there is less pressure on the wrist and the weight of the body can be held up by the forearms.
I have rarely done this pose in practice. But from what I've found, it has great value. It might be my answer to inversions for now. As you may have noticed, I've never written about them yet!
I hope dolphin pose will help me move into inversions effortlessly,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.