8 Benefits of Three Legged Dog

three legged dog

Downward Dog is a classic yoga pose that helps to strengthen and stretch the entire body. It is one of the most recognizable poses in all of yoga, but it can be even more beneficial if done with three legs instead of two. Three legged Dog, or Trikonasana, is an advanced variation of this classic pose that provides many unique benefits for anyone looking to deepen their practice.

Benefits of Three-Legged Downward Dog

Three legged downward dog is a variation of the popular yoga pose, downward-facing dog. It involves lifting one leg off the ground and extending it toward the sky. This pose looks impressive and has several benefits for our physical and mental well-being. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of three legged downward dog.

1. Improved balance – Three-legged Downward Dog requires a higher level of balance and coordination, so it helps to develop strength in your legs and core muscles. As your muscles become stronger, you’ll notice improved overall balance in your practice and everyday life.

2. Increased flexibility – The extra challenge of Downward Dog’s three-legged variation helps open up your hips and shoulders more deeply, allowing for greater flexibility throughout the entire body. This can help with anything from back pain to range of motion in the joints.

3. Improved focus – The extra challenge that comes with three legged Downward Dog helps to keep you focused on your practice. As you pay attention to every detail of aligning your body correctly, you can become more mindful and aware of the present moment.

4. Strengthens Leg Muscles – This pose is a great way to strengthen your leg muscles. As you lift one leg off the ground, you engage your thigh and glute muscles. Holding this pose for a few breaths can help to tone and strengthen these muscles.

5. Improving Hip Mobility – Three-legged downward dog also helps to improve hip mobility. As you lift your leg, you stretch your hip flexors and open up your hips. For people who sit at a desk all day, this pose can be especially beneficial for counteracting the tightness that can develop in the hips.

6. Engaging the Core – In addition to working on the legs and hips, three legged downward dog also engages the core muscles. As you lift your leg, it takes core strength to maintain balance and stability in the pose. This can help to tone and strengthen the muscles in your abdomen and lower back.

7. Improved Balance and Stability – This pose requires a certain level of balance and stability, making it a great way to work on those skills. By keeping your hips level and your weight evenly distributed, you can improve your balance and stability on and off the yoga mat.

8. Promoting Mindfulness – Like many yoga poses, three legged downward dog can also promote mindfulness and help to reduce stress and anxiety. As you focus on your breath and the sensations in your body, you can quiet your mind and bring a sense of calm and relaxation.

The benefits of three legged downward dog are numerous. Next time you hit the mat, try this pose and feel the benefits for your body and mind.

How To Perform Three-Legged Downward Dog:

1. Start in downward-facing dog by placing both hands and feet on the ground. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and your fingers spread out.

2. Inhale and lift your right leg towards the ceiling. Make sure your hips remain square, and your standing foot is stable.

3. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then slowly lower the lifted leg to your mat.

4. Repeat on the other side, lifting your left leg.

5. To deepen the pose and increase the stretch on your lifted leg, try bending your lifted leg at a 90-degree angle, then open your hip out to the side.

Tips for Practicing 

1. Keep your fingers wide:

When practicing any yoga pose, engaging your hands and fingers is essential. In three legged downward dog, make sure to spread your fingers wide and press firmly into the ground to avoid unnecessary strain on your wrists.

2. Focus on upper body engagement:

Three-legged downward dog can be an excellent pose for strengthening your upper body. Focus on engaging your shoulders, arms, and core while lifting your leg to get the most out of the pose.

3. Square your hips:

Squaring your hips is essential to maintain proper alignment in three-legged downward dog. Ensure your lifted leg is parallel to the ground and your hips are level to avoid unnecessary pressure on your supporting arm.

4. Use physical therapy tools:

If you’re experiencing tight or sore muscles, using physical therapy tools like foam rollers or massage balls can help stretch and release tension in your body. Consider using these tools before or after your yoga practice to help increase your range of motion and flexibility.

5. Don’t forget to breathe:

Getting caught up in the physicality of yoga poses can be easy, but it’s essential to remember to breathe deeply and intentionally. Focusing on your breath can help calm your mind and promote relaxation during your practice.

Three Legged Dog Variations:

1. Three-Legged Downward Dog with Knee-to-Nose:

Adding a knee-to-nose variation to your three-legged dog can help increase core engagement and improve balance. From three-legged dog, inhale and bring your lifted knee towards your nose, then exhale and return to your starting position.

2. Three-Legged Downward Dog with Hip Opener:

Adding a hip opener variation to your three-legged dog can help increase hip flexibility and improve overall mobility. From three-legged dog, exhale and bend your lifted knee, then open your hip outward and hold the pose for several breaths.

3. Revolved Three-Legged Downward Dog:

Revolved three-legged dog is a more advanced pose variation that can challenge your balance and increase hip flexibility. From a three-legged dog, exhale and bring your lifted leg to the opposite side of your body, then twist through your core and reach your raised arm towards the sky.

Modifications and variations of yoga poses can be used to suit a variety of abilities and goals. By experimenting with different variations, you can improve your strength, flexibility, and overall health through yoga practice.

Three legged dog yoga pose may seem challenging at first, but with practice, it can become a powerful addition to your yoga routine. Not only does it strengthen your core and improve your balance, but it also opens up your hips and stretches your hamstrings. So, next time you hit the mat, try this pose and watch as your body and mind reap the benefits. 

Come to Zuda Yoga and discover the power of Three Legged Dog! Our experienced instructors will help you unlock the many benefits of this pose. So don’t wait any longer – join us at Zuda Yoga today and experience the joys of three legged dog!



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