Easy on the Wrists Variation of Downward Dog Yoga Pose

Strike a Yoga Pose: Quarter Dog

If you love the way Downward Facing Dog stretches out your hamstrings, calves, and lower back, but don't love the wrist pain the pose can cause, then here's a variation to try. With your forearms on the ground, the Quarter Dog variation takes the weight out of your hands and wrists. Even though this pose seems relaxing, it's not as easy as it looks. This pose will not only intensely stretch the backs of your legs, but it's also a workout for your arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Sanskrit Name: Catur Svanasana
English Translation: Quarter Dog Pose
Also Called: Dolphin or Puppy

  • Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.
  • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into Downward Facing Dog.
  • Spread your fingers wide and lower your forearms to the mat. Check to make sure you're creating a straight line between your elbows and middle fingers. Try to straighten your legs and lower your heels toward the ground as much as you can. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of the mat.
  • Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.
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