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Pose Of The Week: Three-Legged Dog

We know that you are probably well acquainted with your downward dog, your upward dog and even your puppy dog, and now it is time to get to know your three-legged dog (there are so many dogs in yoga — and we’re not complaining!).

Three-legged dog pose feels really great and uplifting. Because it is an effective hip-opener, you will find that it is an awesome way to relieve stress or any anxious feelings you may be carrying around. It is an extension of downward dog and allows you to get a little more creative with your practice.

 

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“I find that this pose helps me to stretch out the sides of my body, which can be hard to get to. The posture also provides a lot of scope for expression and feeling — it really makes me feel happy and refreshed.”

—Suz

 

Benefits: 

  • Quiets the mind and builds focus
  • Strengthens the arms
  • Stretches the shoulders and upper back
  • Relives tightness through lower back
  • Builds the glute muscles
  • Strengthens the back
  • Stretches the back of the legs
  • Builds core strength
  • Effective hip-opener
  • Stretches sides of the body

 

Common mistakes

  • Uneven pressure through the hands
  • Rotated shoulders

 

“The setup below is a really simple little sequence that will help you to feel relaxed and flexible— awesome to do after a run or hike.”

—Mike

 

Setup:

 

  • Begin in downward facing dog.

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  • To warm up the muscles and joints, take an inhale and come up onto the toes. Release the heels back down on the next exhale.

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  • Lift the right leg up as high as possible, engaging the glute musles and the core.

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  • Come up high onto the left toes. This will allow you to lift the right leg higher.

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  • Release the left foot flat to the ground. OPTION: This is three-legged dog pose. You can choose to stay here and work on your strength and flexibility, or continue with the next stages.
  • Rotate the right hip upwards, keeping the shoulders level.

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  • Bend the right knee and turn to gaze towards the right foot, peering under the left armpit.
  • Hold for 3-5 slow breaths, feeling the stretch through the right side and front of the body.
  • To release, straighten the right leg, rotate the hips back to be parallel with the floor and bring the right foot down to meet the left in downward facing dog.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Dogs and yoga have a lot in common. For example, this pose will help you to feel relaxed and happy, just like a furry friend would! Enjoy your time on the mat and express yourself 🙂

 

Namaste, 

Mike, Suz and The PPHY Team