Dragon pose is the yin variation of lizard pose in a Vinyasa or Hatha style class. It’s a favorite for sensation junkies as the multiple variations provide ample ways to get deep into the hips. Remind yourself (and students) that being still in this pose takes practice and patience. It’s normal for emotions and impatience to arise while here.
Get into Dragon Pose Step-by-Step
- Begin in a tabletop position.
- Step your right foot forward to the outside of your right hand.
- Lunge forward into your right leg.
- Option to place blocks or a bolster under your hands.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Physical: A deep stretch for the hip flexor of the leg that is behind. Dragon pose also works deeply into the hips. Compression of the lower back and hips happens when the back is lifted. This pose may help with sciatica pain in the hips and increase hip mobility.
- Energetic: The Stomach and Spleen meridians, plus the Kidney, Liver, and Gallbladder are activated.
- Emotional & Mental: This is a great pose to practice patience and stillness, and combat anger that may arise. The sacral chakra is woken up in this pose which may bring up strong reactions to emotions.
- For knee pain or injuries, pad your back knee with a folded blanket or fold over your mat.
- For lower back pain that may be caused by having the back and chest lifted, opt for the low dragon variation with elbows on the mat.
- For ankle pain or injuries, avoid lunging forward so much. Instead, opt for high dragon.
- Use blocks under your hands on their highest level. Keep your chest up with your legs at 90-degree angles with a slight lunge. Alternatively, your hands may rest on your front thigh.
- Lower your elbows to the ground, blocks, or a bolster.
- Stay on your hands. Using the same hand as the leg forward, gently press your palm into your inner thigh so the knee moves out. Twist your chest towards the sky.
- From low dragon, “wing” your front leg out to the side by rolling onto the outer edge of your front foot.
Get Out of the Pose
- Depending on the variation you’re in, place your whole front foot back down on the mat. Come back to your hands.
- Shift the weight of your hips back and then step your front foot back into a tabletop position.
- Half splits.
- Child’s pose.
- Downward dog.
How Long to Hold Dragon?
- 3-5 minutes per side.
- If moving into different variations take 1-2 minutes in each variation to deepen the pose slowly.