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Dolphin Peak Pose: Become A Dolphin To Allow More Fun To Flow In Your Life
Image Pose Description
yoga pose ChildSit on heels. Walk hands forward until forehead touches floor. Arms alongside legs. Alternatives include: Child with head on bolster. Child with bolster between legs. Child pose with arms extended. Child with hands on back. Child with cheek on mat. Child with leg raised and arms extended.
Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs, and ankles. Relieves back pain.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYvYsFrTI0U
Modifications: A) Interlock fingers behind back. B) Knees together (instead of separated). C) Curl the toes under (instead of flat). D) Place a rolled towel under your shins (take the stress off of your ankles). E) Place a yoga blanket underneath the knees for padding. F) Place a folded towel underneath the knees for padding. G) Place a bolster or pillow under your stomach or chest and stay for up 10 minutes. H) Go deeper into the hip stretch by spreading your knees wider.
Precautions : Pregnancy. Knee injury.
yoga pose HeroSit with buttocks on heels. Feet slightly wider than hips with tops of feet flat on floor. Angle big toes slightly toward each other. Release shoulder blades away from ears.
Benefits: Stretches quads, thighs, knees, and ankles. Helping build flexibility in knees, ankles, and thighs. Improves posture. Improves breathing.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/py0vL4mc09w?rel=0
Modifications: A) Baby Hero: Sit on knees and shins. Place feet with soles pointing behind you with toes touching the mat. B) Sit On Heels: Bring feet close to each other. Place them one upon the other with soles pointing backwards. Placing sit bones on heels raises hip higher. This brings pressure on ankles, so do this modification carefully. C) Practice Uddiyana Bandha: Place hands on thighs. Push hands downwards on knees and raise chest and upper abdomen upwards. Take a deep inhale through your nose and exhale quickly and powerfully. Exhale all the way until the end of the breath. This stretches diagram to its most expanded position. At end of your exhale, pull belly in as if you are trying to bring navel to touch your spine. Keep belly like this while taking no further breaths. Release belly. D) Raised Arms: raise arms above shoulders with fingers interlocked and gaze up.
Precautions : Knee or ankle injury.
yoga pose Cat CowSit with buttocks on heels. Come onto all fours. Wrists under shoulders. Pull navel into small of back. Inhale while raising head. Exhale, while lowering head and arching spine up like a cat. Repeat.
Benefits: Stretches lower back. Engage care. Decompress spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqnua4rHVVA
Modifications: Knee to chest. Raise leg or arm.
Precautions : Neck injury.
yoga pose Cat Head To KneeSit with buttocks on heels. Come onto all fours. Wrists under shoulders. Engage core. Bring forehead to right knee. Bring forehead to left knee. Modifications include: Cat pose with leg raised. Cat pose with arm raised. Cat pose with rib cage circles. Cat pose with feet to the side.
Benefits: Stretches lower back. Engage care. Decompress spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/sQ7xdUBKuS0
Modifications: Raise leg or arm.
Precautions : Neck injury.
yoga pose Downward Facing Dog Knees BentStart in Mountain. Forward bend. Step feet back one at time. Lift buttocks. Lengthen spine. Bend knees. Tuck chin in. Look at feet. Release jaw.
Alternatives: Down Dog. Dolphin.
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/GuxnaIcILFQ
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP. Headache.
yoga pose Down DogCome into Downward Facing Dog. Lift buttocks. Lengthen spine. Press down through heels. Tuck chin in. Look at feet. Release jaw.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ayRU3ecmPbI?rel=0
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP. Headache.
yoga pose High LungeFrom Down Dog step right foot inside right hand. Bend right knee. Hands on thigh. Lengthen spine. Extend from back heel to crown of head. Repeat with left leg forward.
Alternatives: Low Lunge
Benefits: Opens hips, groin. Stretches calves, thighs, and hamstrings.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/xMcYSShAm54?rel=0
Modifications: A) High lunge with arms overhead. B) High lunge with backbend. C) High lunge with arms forward. D) High lunge with blocks under hands. E) High lunge with hands on hips. F) Block under back foot.
yoga pose Low LungeLower left knee to floor. Top of left foot on floor. Hands on thigh. Lift chest.
Alternatives: High Lunge.
Benefits: Stretches legs, groin, hip flexors. Strengthens thighs, buttocks.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/R5zeuZuA8T4?rel=0
Modifications: Move between bent and straight leg.
Precautions : Knee injury. HBP.
yoga pose Extended Side AngleRight hand inside right foot. Raise back leg off floor. Left arm up (form line with body). Open chest. Repeat on left.
Alternatives: High or Low Lunge.
Benefits: Stretches legs, groins, hams. Opens chest, shoulders.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/rtZkgMP-XtU?rel=0
Modifications: Block under hand.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose DolphinCome onto hands and knees. Press forearms into floor. Curl toes under. Lift knees away from floor. Keep knees slightly bent. Heels lifted. Press forearms actively into floor. Hold head between upper arms. Straighten knees. Lengthen tailbone away from pelvis.
Benefits: Stretches shoulders, hams, calves. Strengthens arms, and legs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/tptnGIyB-ms?rel=0
Modifications: A) If upper back rounds, bend your knees. B) Support feet with folded blanket if they don’t remain firm on mat. C) Support elbows with blankets. D) Support head on Yoga block or folded cushion (if pose feels difficult). E) Use wall to support feet. F) Support forearms facing wall.
Precautions : Shoulder or neck injury. HBP.
yoga pose Table TopCome onto hands and knees. Bring knees hip-width apart. Palms directly under shoulders. Fingers facing forward. Gaze down. Flat back. Press into palms to drop shoulders away from ears. Press tail bone towards back wall and crown of head towards front wall.
Benefits: Transition for many floor postures. Lengthens spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/PGAntbDQ6Xg
Modifications: A) Make fists with hands (reduce pressure on wrists). B) Raise an arm. C) Raise one arm and the opposite leg. D) Folded towel or a wedge under the heels of your hands. E) Folded blanket or a yoga mat under your knees. F) Cat-Cow pose.
Precautions : Wrist, knee or neck pain.
yoga pose TigerStart on hands and knees. Knees set directly below hips and wrists. Centre head in a neutral position. Eyes looking at wall (straight ahead). Raise left leg. Hold onto foot of left leg with left hand. Repeat on right leg. Keep alternating.
Alternatives: Cow
Benefits: Stretches torso, neck. Massages spine, core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/1ZuYNYhRAwA
Modifications: A) Donkey Kick (donkey kick back leg up). B) Bound Tiger (grab your foot or ankle with the opposite hand and kick up). C) King Tiger (overhead toe grab using a strap). D) Use your fists or forearms instead of flat palming.
Precautions : Neck or wrist injury.
yoga pose Plank On ForearmsLie face down on mat. Arms bent. Elbows close to sides. Palms face down. Hands alongside head. Raise head off floor slightly. Rest tips of feet on mat. Engage core and leg muscles to raise body up. Support weight on forearms and toes. Gaze between arms. Hold.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Benefits: Strengthens arms, wrists, spine. Tones abs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wCBOqf-HrTI
Modifications: Knees on floor.
Precautions : Carpal tunnel syndrome. Pregnancy.
yoga pose ChildSit on heels. Walk hands forward until forehead touches floor. Arms alongside legs. Alternatives include: Child with head on bolster. Child with bolster between legs. Child pose with arms extended. Child with hands on back. Child with cheek on mat. Child with leg raised and arms extended.
Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs, and ankles. Relieves back pain.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYvYsFrTI0U
Modifications: A) Interlock fingers behind back. B) Knees together (instead of separated). C) Curl the toes under (instead of flat). D) Place a rolled towel under your shins (take the stress off of your ankles). E) Place a yoga blanket underneath the knees for padding. F) Place a folded towel underneath the knees for padding. G) Place a bolster or pillow under your stomach or chest and stay for up 10 minutes. H) Go deeper into the hip stretch by spreading your knees wider.
Precautions : Pregnancy. Knee injury.
yoga pose Repeat Sequence X5
yoga pose Dolphin RelaxationLie on your back. Close eyes. You're on a balmy tropical Beach at sunset. Coconut palms swaying gently in warm breeze. Sand warm, soft and golden under feet. Sea is a calm beautiful blue. All you can hear is quiet lapping of waves as they break on the sea shore. Bring awareness to the blue of the sea. Notice light dancing across waves. Become aware of the sun drenched horizon. You are aware of movement. You hear sounds and as you look out into the distance you see shapes moving, dolphins dancing amongst the waves, twisting and turning, diving under and over the waves, playing with each other, chasing and twirling up into the air. See how nimble they are. How full of life. How playful. How they invite you to come and join them. Hear their call. The high whine and the low humming sound. They are calling you to come and play with them. Suddenly you are in the warm, blue water and you sense dolphins gliding around you. You feel them welcoming you to a world filled and flowing with joy and peace. They invite you to be childlike. You feel as if you are dissolving in the blueness and you are surrounded by love and light. Suddenly you feel playful and lighter. You feel a wonder-filled sense of joy and freedom. You start playing with your new dolphin friends and dance in and out of the waves. The dolphins are smiling at you. You smile back. They call your name and remind you that you have to be on your way. It is time to go. You feel sad to be leaving, but they tell you that you can come and swim with them any time. When you feel ready become aware of the floor. Say quietly in your mind: "Om Shanti".
Alternatives: Crocodile. Child. Supine Butterfly.
Benefits: Calming.
Modifications: Knees up. Blanket under knees, head.
yoga pose Dolphin BreathSit with legs crossed. Focus on natural rhythms of breath. Imagine that like a dolphin you have a breathing hole on the top of your head. Visualise simultaneously inhaling upward from feet and downwards from just above head. See breath meeting at Heart Chakra. Pause. Begin to exhale. As you do, imagine breath flowing outward from Heart Chakra mingling with energy around you.
Benefits: Live in sync with rhythms and patterns of nature.

AIM: To give a 90-minute class with the build-up towards DOLPHIN (Makarasana) pose.

OBJECTIVES: By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

DOLPHIN SYMBOLISM: Allow yourself to have more fun. Dolphins are known for their ability for having fun. They are playful and filled with joy. They are also nimble and strong. Allow yourself to become a dolphin and be aware of all the things to be joyous of in your life right now. Joy is your birthright. You don’t have to ‘do’ something to deserve basking in joy.

CASE STUDY: How I taught this dolphin themed class