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Seal Pose

Seal Pose

Seal pose adds onto the already wonderful backbend from sphinx pose. Seal can create quite a bit of intensity so use this pose more sparingly during your practice and with students. It’s important to remind yourself and students that seal pose is a peak pose that you do not have to reach but is merely an option.

Get into Seal Pose Step-by-Step

  1. Begin in sphinx pose.
  2. Keep your elbows where they are. Move your hands to the sides so your fingers point towards the top corners of your mat.
  3. Press into your palms to lift your elbows off of the mat.
  4. Keep a micro bend in your elbows.


  • Physical: Seal invites a deeper compression of the lower back than sphinx. It also increase the stretch across the belly and into the hip flexors.
  • Energetic: The Urinary Bladder meridian is still stimulated from sphinx.
  • Emotional & Mental: When the upper body lifts off the mat into seal it activates the solar plexus chakra. This continues to energize the body and awakens your inner power.


  • Avoid this pose if you are pregnant. Practice a supported variation of sphinx instead.
  • Do not practice this pose if you have a headache.
  • For wrist pain or injuries, place a folded blanket under your wrists.
  • Release from seal and return to sphinx if there is any pinching or pain.


  • Seal pose.

Get Out of the Pose

  1. With control, lower your elbows back to the mat.
  2. Spread your elbows wide to the edges of your mat.
  3. Stack your hands and rest your forehead on the back of your hands.

Counter Poses

How Long to Hold Seal?

  • 1-3 minutes.
  • For beginners start in 1-minute increments.
  • If beginning in sphinx, hold each variation for 1-3 minutes or interchange between the two poses every 1-2 minutes.

Practice Seal Pose in a Class

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