How to Correct Common Misalignments in Three-Legged Dogs

It can be difficult to know where you are in a particular pose when you’re head down and bum up.

Three alignment mistakes can cause you to go wrong in Three-Legged Dog Pose. This pose can cause you to twist your lower back and shoulders by not engaging your hips and not engaging your raised leg.

Here are the most common three-legged dog pose misalignments and how to correct or avoid them.

Feet running amok

This posture should still be similar to a Downward-Facing Dog. Your hips and shoulders will suffer if you start to change the direction of your feet.

You can step your standing foot into the middle of the mat to assist in the twist. For a Three-Legged dog, you should stay balanced, strong, and safe. Keep your feet at hip-width when lifting the leg.

How to Fix It: Turn your toes inward slightly so that you have already internally rotated the hips and are ready for success. Lift the leg wide with the feet so that the hips are aligned. The low back will not be twisted.

Hip Stacking

The hip of the leg that is lifted will rise higher than the other hip. This common misalignment will cause a sore back and discourage hip strengthening.

How to Fix it: Try flexing the foot that is raised (this will also help your hamstrings). Drop the hip of your lifted leg. It’s harder but safer.

Hands Raising

When we lift our legs, either one or both hands will often pop up from the mat, leaving us on the fingertips. This happens specifically on the side where the leg is rising. It is accentuated if we bend the lifted leg in the Scorpion Dog Pose.

This is how you can gain height by bending your knees and feet. It also adds a stretch to the ribs. But it will put pressure on the small bones in your hands, which is not good. And it will cause the shoulders to twist, something that is NOT desirable when you weigh them.

How to Fix It: Focus on pressing the entire hand and then move the weight towards the muscles of the thumb and pointing fingers. (This is also an excellent exercise for all Down Dog variants if your wrists are sore from yoga).

If you correct these three alignment issues, your Three-Legged dog will strengthen your hips and stretch your side body. It will also engage your core. Namaste, yogis!

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *