Dolphin Plank Pose - Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana

Dolphin Plank Pose - Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana - YanvaYoga


Dolphin Plank Pose, Forearm Plank Pose or Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (MAH-kar-ah ah-doh moo-kuh SVAH-NAH-sah-nah) is a yogic way of strengthening the body head-to-toe. This arm balancing pose gives a break to your wrists from the daily chores.

It is an intermediate-level variation of the basic Dolphin Pose as it balances the entire body weight on the forearms and toes. Hence, the Dolphin plank pose targets muscles of the core, shoulders, arms, and upper back.

Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana is quite similar to the plank pose with the only difference of balancing the weight on the forearms rather than the hands. Therefore, only the toes and the forearms lie on the floor while the entire body is lifted and aligned straight.

Besides strengthening and toning the body, practicing Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana opens the path of enlightenment focusing on activating energy chakras.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie down on the ground on your face side.
Step 2
Now, keep your elbows down to the ground along with palms sturdily on the floor.
Step 3
At the time lift up your hips, chest, and toes towards the roof (ceiling).
Step 4
Now try to tie your Navel towards the spine and tight your hips.
Step 5
Your body should few inches off the ground in a parallel line from your feet to shoulders.
Step 6
Gaze at the ground for keeping your head in a neutral position.
Step 7
Remain in the position for 10 to 15 seconds after that get back to your initial position.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the abdominals, arms, shoulders, and chest

Relieves stress and mild depression

Improves posture

Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and arches of the feet


Shoulder, neck, or spinal injuries

High blood pressure

Eye or ear infections

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • You can place a rolled-up towel or blanket underneath your elbows for support.
  • You can also try this pose with your knees on the floor until you build up more strength in your arms and shoulders.
  • Keep your head in line with your spine; don’t let it droop down or tilt upwards.
  • Make sure that all of your muscles are engaged when holding the pose, especially those in the core region. This will help prevent any injuries and ensure that you’re getting the most out of the posture.
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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.