Dragon pose

Step by step

  • From a table top (all-fours) position, step your right foot between your hands, the right knee just above the heel.
  • Lower the left knee to the floor, sliding the leg back until you feel a nice stretch in the left hip and thigh. Make sure you’re not resting directly on top of the kneecap but slightly beyond it (towards the bottom of the thigh). Gently press your front foot into the floor
  • Keep the hands on either side of the front foot, or on blocks if needed.
  • Hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes
  • To come out of the pose, move the back knee forward and tuck your toes, ground your hands on either side of your right foot, and step back into a table top position.
  • Repeat on the other side

Beginners tips

  • Hold for 1 to 3 minutes to start with, as the sensations in this pose can get intense.
  • Placing a block vertically under the front thigh or hip for support, may allow you to relax more deeply.
  • Place a blanket under your back knee in case of discomfort

Benefits

  • Can help ease Sciatica.
  • Increases hip mobility and stretches the hip flexors and quadriceps.
  • Stimulates Liver, Spleen, Kidney, Stomach and Gallbladder meridians.

Watch out for

  • In case of knee injuries, pad your back knee and pay special attention to the sensations in the front knee. Avoid the ‘Overstepping Dragon’ variation in this case
  • In case of lower back sensitivity, be mindful while lifting your chest as you will move into a backbend or choose a low variation.

Variations

  • Dragon Flying High: Place your hands on your top thigh and lift the chest. This will increase the weight over your hips and offer you a mild backbend
  • Dragon Flying Low: Place your hands inside the front foot and walk them forward, maybe even placing your elbows down on the mat or on blocks.
  • Twisted Dragon: Firmly flex your front foot and gently press your front knee out with your hand, rotating the chest up, towards the bent knee.
  • Winged Dragon: Firmly flex your front foot and open your knee to the side, rolling on the outside edge of your front foot. Walk your hands forwards or rest your elbows down on the mat or blocks if needed
  • Overstepping Dragon: Allow your front knee to come forward until the heel is just about to lift off. Keep most of your weight in your hands, on either side of the front foot. This variation provides a nice stimulation in the Achilles tendon.
  • Dragon Splits: Walk your back leg further down the mat to bring both legs towards straight. Place a bolster or blocks under the front hip for support. Keep your torso up or fold over the front leg to find different sensations.
  • Dragon at the wall: Place one knee on a cushion at the wall, the arch of your foot against the wall. Step forward with the other foot and allow your hips to sink. Use a block under the thigh to support your front knee and lift your upper body.

Alternative poses

  • Saddle or Swan can be used to target the hip flexors and offer a backbend

Counter poses