About the pose

Dolphin Pose or Catur Svanasana is considered as an easy pose to strengthen the arms in order to prepare for certain advance level poses. Dolphin pose is considered as a variation of Downward Facing Dog Pose with the forearms placed on the floor. It is sometimes also referred to as the Ardha Pincha Mayurasana, depicting the peacock and its feathers. Here the body balances on the forearms while the feet are placed firm on the floor, raising the tail bone high upwards.

Dolphin Pose is considered a base pose as dolphin pose variations can be derived from this pose. Dolphin Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.


Dolphin Pose benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus:

  • Arms and Shoulders
  • Lower Back
  • Biceps and Triceps
  • Core (Abs)
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

How to do the pose

  • Come onto your hands and knees (all fours). Place your forearms on the floor, your elbows directly under your shoulders. You can either place the palms of your hands down with your forearms parallel with each other or interlace your fingers, tucking the bottom little finger in.
  • As you exhale, curl your toes under. Engage your lower belly and lift your knees away from the floor
  • Lift your sitting bones up and lengthen the tailbone as you straighten your legs and lower the heels towards the floor – they do not need to touch the floor.
  • Engage your thigh muscles and keep the lower belly drawn in, press the forearms actively into the floor.
  • Firm your shoulder blades down onto your back while maintaining space between them. Lengthen your spine. Hold your head between your arms, off the floor.
  • Stay for 5 to 20 breaths.
  • To come out of the pose, allow your knees to come back onto the floor as you exhale and rest in Child’s Pose.

Beginners tips

  • Before you lift your knees off the floor touch the elbows with the fingertips of the opposite hands. This helps ensure that your elbows are shoulder-width apart.
  • If your legs are straight but your back is rounding, it’s better to keep the knees bent to find length in your spine.
  • You can build strength for this pose by practising Forearm Plank and Downward Facing Dog.


  • Great alternative to Downward Facing Dog pose if you have sensitive wrists.
  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms, upper body and legs.
  • Activates the arches of your feet.
  • Dolphin pose gives you the strength and actions needed for Headstand and Forearm balance. You should be able to hold the pose for 20 breaths before working on those poses.

Watch out for

  • Don’t do this pose if you have shoulder injuries.
  • Take care to keep the shoulder blades firmly against the back to support you.
  • Keep the neck relaxed and in line with the spine.



  • For a dynamic movement, come to your toes on an inhale, and back down to your heels on an exhale
  • You can transition from Dolphin to Forearm Plank as you inhale, and back to Dolphin as you exhale.
  • Try walking your feet closer to your hands, lifting one leg at a time as preparation for Forearm Balance and Headstands.
  • Add an extra challenge with Dolphin press-ups – with your fingers interlaced bring your chin closer to your hands and then push through the forearms to lift yourself back up.
  • Turn Dolphin pose into ‘Turbodog’ pose by lifting the elbows slightly off the mat – forearms parallel.


Model Lydie
Yoga Mat b’EARTH  &  b’EARTH X by Beinks
Photographer Sophie Dupont
Content Tummee & Ekhart Yoga

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