Here is my latest SNAP article:
As we continue to move into more advanced poses, remember that it is always important to listen to and honor your body. Every pose is not for every body, so if something feels off or painful, come out of the pose and find one that gives you sensation, but no pain.
Dolphin Pose, or Makarasana, is a tough pose, but it is a great way to strengthen both the upper and lower body. It can be difficult to hold for any period of time at first, so begin with a brief hold and then work your way into a longer one.
This pose will strengthen your arms and legs, stretch the upper back and help to relieve feelings of stress. This is also a nice pose to practice if Downward Facing Dog causes you pain in your wrists due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
To practice, begin on your hands and feet in Downward Facing Dog pose. Slowly bring one forearm to the floor and then the other. You can place your palms down on the floor shoulder-width apart or you can place your palms together or lace your fingers with only your elbows shoulder-width apart.
Walk your feet in as close to the elbows as you can and work your chest back toward your thighs by pressing strongly into through your arms and upper back. Try to let your head relax down, letting your gaze fall between your feet. Feel like your sits bones are opening apart from one another and lifting toward the ceiling. Breathe slowly in and out through your nose as you hold the pose for five to seven breaths, or as many as you can.
To play around with variations, you can lift one leg up in a Three-Point Dolphin. To modify, you can come down on your knees and stay on the elbows in a Dophin Table pose.