When we think of dolphins, they are care-free friendly creatures swimming about in the ocean, and yet if you're in a yoga class - this image of a dolphin couldn't be any further from the truth! Learning to find a place to be at ease and have FUN in this pose may take many years and even many more practices. Arriving in DOLPHIN, immediately we are confronted with the amount of effort this pose requires. It's hard...damn hard!
An quote I often remind myself as I practice is:
"Don't DO the yoga poses, let the yoga poses do YOU."
Unfortunately for us, DOLPHIN is often over-looked; rarely practiced in a typical vinyasa class unless the focus in on building strength to invert and lift up into Pincha Mayurasana. However we can make this shape in our body without ever intending to take both feet (or knees if you're modifying) off the ground. It is one of THE best postures to build stability and strength while opening the shoulders + spine. It tones the core and thighs and is literally a whole body workout!
By making our body into an inverted V shape - as demonstrated by faithful yogi Leone - blood flow is directed towards the brain which can help to alleviate fatigue and insomnia, while helping to balance the nervous system. Energetically, DOLPHIN is associated with the crown chakra (sahasrara) which is associated with trust, inspiration, positivity and a deep sense of self.
So the challenge in dolphin isn't necessarily the posture itself...it's ourselves. What can we learn about our selves when we're in a position where we are presented with something difficult? Rather than taking it personally, and thinking we're not good enough or strong enough, can we just witness whatever comes up and stay there? Harnessing the breath as a way to clear out the mind chatter that's taking place. Enjoy this new perspective and remind your self - this moment will pass, it's only brief - and your body is always stronger than the mind gives it credit for.