Feel Taller by Practicing Three-Legged Dog Pose and Tail of the Dog Pose

Three-legged dog pose and Tail of the dog pose are fun poses, but they’re also great ways to stretch yourself and feel taller. In Sanskrit, Three-legged dog pose is called Eka pada adho mukha svanasana. Tail of the dog pose is also referred to by the same name; it is a variation of Three-legged dog pose.

When you practice these poses, you want to find length from the palms of your hands through the soles of your feet. Feel your belly button draw toward your spine to help you further stretch. Here’s how to practice these wonderful lengthening poses.

Three-Legged Dog Pose

  1. Use ujjayi breathing throughout.
  2. Plant your hands at the front of your mat with your fingers spread.
  3. Step back so that you’re in your very best Downward facing dog.
  4. Take a little bit of time here in Downward facing dog to get your body warmed up.
  5. When you’re ready, step your feet so that they’re side by side along the midline of your body.
  6. Three-legged dog poseWith strong arms, push the floor away. Make sure to keep your shoulders away from your ears as you do this.
  7. Reach your right leg toward the top of the wall behind you. Really send energy through that leg as if something is pulling it toward the wall. Make sure that you keep your leg parallel and that you don’t let it rotate out.
  8. Hold here for several breaths.
  9. Lower your right leg, and lift your left leg.
  10. Find that energy through your left leg as it reaches for the top of the wall behind you.
  11. Hold here for several breaths.
  12. To finish, lower your left leg.

Tail of the Dog Pose

  1. Tail of the dog poseBegin in step 7 of the Three-legged dog pose with your right leg raised.
  2. Reach through your right leg, and really find the sensation of reaching your hips away from your ribs.
  3. Rotate your right leg open from the hip, and bend your knee.
  4. Allow your lower body to rotate open to the side as you keep your upper body straight.
  5. Find a nice twist at your waist as your hips rotate while your ribs stay stable.
  6. Make sure to especially keep your left arm straight and strong.
  7. To come out of this pose, rotate your hips back to your starting position. Straighten your right leg, turn it parallel, and lower it so that the right foot is beside the left foot.
  8. Don’t forget to switch sides!

Three-Legged Dog and Tail of the Dog Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

Which do you like best–Three-legged dog pose or Tail of the dog pose? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.