Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Pronunciation: (mah-KAH-rah-nahs-ahna)

Level: Beginner


1. From Table position, lower the forearms to the floor, tuck the toes under and lift the hips up towards the ceiling.

2. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger facing forward, and the palms shoulder width apart.

3. Press the forearms, fingers and the palms into the floor, and press the hips up and back. Keep the spine straight and long, reaching up high through the tailbone.

4. Keep the feet are hip’s width apart with the toes facing forward. Press the heels into the floor feeling a stretch in the back of the legs. The legs are straight, or you can have a small bend at the knees to keep the back flat.

5. Let the head and neck hang freely from the shoulders; the forehead can rest on the floor.

6. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.

7. To release: bend the knees and lower the hips back to Table pose, or come all the way down to child pose.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Dolphin pose opens the shoulders and upper back, lengthens the spine, stretches the hamstrings, builds upper body strength, and stimulates the nervous system.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic arm, back or shoulder injury or inflammation.

Cautions: Unmedicated high blood pressure, glaucoma.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications:  A) Press both heels against a wall. B) Hold on to a yoga block between the hands.

Variations: A) Interlace the fingers together. B) Lift one leg up to the ceiling at a time.


Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Table, Low Plank, Down Dog, Sphinx.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Peacock, Child, Down Dog.

Other Names

Dolphin pose is also known as Half Peacock Feather or Peacock Feather Preparation

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