Asana of the Day: 3-Legged Dog

One-legged downward dog, downward dog split– there are many names this pose may be called.

Regardless of the name,

 3-legged dog is a great pose to transition from your hands to a standing pose.

If you are a beginner, try refining your Downward Dog before attempting this pose. Taking away a leg, adds more weight for your upper body to support.

The basic pose fires up the hamstrings and glutes and actively stretches the hip flexor, but 3-legged can go many other places if you add a few variations!

Bare Bones Pose:

  1. 3 leg base (1).pngFrom downward dog, reach your right leg to the sky. Keep your first knuckle pressing to the ground to prevent wrist pain.
  2. Keep your hips squared off and even. There is a tendency to open the lifted hip.
  3. Engaged through the back of the leg and glute. Keep foot flexed. Hold for 5 breaths or 15 seconds. Then, switch legs!

Offbeat Variations:


1. Pointed toe 3-legged dog: Keep your lifted leg locked out and point the toe. Allow the hip to open slightly in this variation. Bonus: Walk your hands toward the base leg to standing splits.

3 leg point (1).png

2. Bent knee 3-legged dog: For an extra stretch in the front of the thigh, start to bend your knee and stack open your hips. Bonus: Transition to Wild Thing.

Elbow to knee holds: Want strengthen the core without crunches? From the basic 3-legged pose, bend your lifted knee. Exhale to bring your knee to the opposite elbow. Hold for 2 breaths. Then, inhale to extend back to 3-legged. Exhale to bring your knee to the same elbow. Hold for 2 breaths. Switch legs!

Knee to nose rollouts: Same idea as the elbow to knee variation. Bring the lifted knee into your chest, hollow out your core bringing your navel to spine. Then , roll forward so your upper back rounds and your chest aligns with your hands. Hold 5 breaths or 15 seconds and repeat 3 times. Switch sides.

How do you like to offbeat 3-Legged Dog?

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