Friday, June 07, 2013

Yoga Poses for Tennis Players: Dolphin Pose

500 hour online hatha yoga instructor certification intensive
By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

Practicing Yoga poses on a regular basis is a very effective way to keep your body strong, toned and limber. If you actively participate in a sport or athletic activity that utilizes a certain group of muscles on a repetitive basis, practicing Yoga asanas will keep those muscles strong, flexible and in correct alignment with the rest of your body. This will help to prevent sports-related injuries. For instance, if you are an avid tennis player, you may find that your shoulders, neck, legs, and even your elbows (hence the proverbial tennis elbow problem) begin to become tight and strained due to over use. 

Dolphin Pose is a very effective Yoga pose for releasing tension throughout the shoulders, neck and upper arms. This pose also gives the back of your legs a nice stretch, helping to alleviate muscular tension in the hamstrings and calf areas. The practice of Dolphin Pose is quite accessible, even to beginning Yoga practitioners.  Dolphin Pose is also an inversion, so it helps to circulate fresh oxygen and nutrients to many areas of your body, including your brain. Increasing the circulation of fresh oxygen and blood throughout your body and mind will energize you and clear away any mental cobwebs. 

* Dolphin Pose

To practice Dolphin Pose: warm-up first with a series of Sun Salutations. If you have the time, you may also wish to practice some standing and balancing Yoga postures prior to practicing Dolphin Pose. When you are adequately warmed up, come to Mountain Pose at the front of your Yoga mat. Take a few deep, full breaths, and then, with your next inhale, move through the beginning poses of Sun Salutation A and pause in Downward Facing Dog.

From Downward Facing Dog, move into Child’s Pose and rest for a moment before moving into Dolphin Pose. When you are ready, place your forearms in front of you on the Yoga mat approximately shoulders’ distance apart with your hands gently clasped together. You will form a triangle with your forearms and hands. Your hands should rest on the mat with the outside of your little fingers flush against the mat. With your next inhale; push up into a modified Downward Facing Dog Pose. Your weight will be resting on your forearms and on your feet.  

This modified Downward Facing Dog is Dolphin Pose. Equally distribute your weight on both forearms and remember not to ‘hunch’ your shoulders by keep your shoulder blades moving down your back. To release muscular tension in your neck and shoulders more fully, push against the Yoga mat with your forearms. Breathe deeply and exhale completely. Hold Dolphin Pose for three to five breaths, and then release the pose and rest in Extended Child’s Pose for several breaths. For optimal benefit, repeat Dolphin Pose two more times before continuing on with the rest of your Yoga practice. 

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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1 comment:

parvezbdjsr said...

Dolphin Pose is a very effective Yoga pose for releasing tension throughout the shoulders, neck and upper arms, That's why its very good exercise for a Tennis player.