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King Dancer Pose with Jennifer Elliott

Manduka Ambassador Jennifer Elliott is an ERYT-500 and Yoga Therapist who has been teaching for 15 years. In this guest blog post, she shares how to use props to get into King Dancer Pose more easily. You will need two blocks and a strap. 


In order to achieve the final pose safely, I recommend warming up with sun salutations and twists to prepare the body for the deeper backbends. Then you can begin to work on the components of the posture.

Start by lying on your belly and reach back for the outside of the foot. Engage your hamstrings to encourage the foot to move closer to the buttocks and lengthen your tailbone to create space in the lower back.King Dancer Pose with Jennifer Elliott - The Manduka Blog

Next you want to work on rotating the arm in Ardha Bhekasana, or half frog pose. Once the foot has come close to the buttocks move your hand from the outside of the ankle to the top of the foot. Rotate your hand so that the fingers face forward and the elbow is up similar to a cobra or chaturanga arm. Make sure to keep the lower belly engaged and that your knee isn’t being torqued. If your knee or lower back isn’t ready, go back to the previous posture.

King Dancer Pose Prep with Jennifer Elliott - The Manduka Blog

After you’ve worked both sides in your Ardha Bhekasana, come up to hands and knees and place 2 blocks down in front of you, shoulder-width apart and on their lowest height. Place your elbows down on the blocks and walk them forward so when you lean back most of your triceps are on the blocks. Bring your palms in to prayer position and place them behind the head. Make sure there is enough room for your head to relax between the blocks. I like to spend several minutes here to stretch my triceps and upper back.

King Dancer Pose Prep with Jennifer Elliott - The Manduka Blog

Now we are ready to try some of these principles in our standing pose. Put a loop in your strap and sling it over your foot. Your palm is open to the side and your thumb is up. Next begin to pull the foot closer to your buttocks while you bend the elbow and draw the shoulder back. Holding the strap, draw your elbow in toward the body and rotate it up.

King Dancer Pose Prep with Strap | Jennifer Elliott | The Manduka BlogKing Dancer Pose Prep with Strap | Jennifer Elliott | The Manduka BlogKing Dancer Pose Prep with Strap | Jennifer Elliott | The Manduka Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now reach your other hand behind your head and grab onto the strap. Keep your outer upper arms drawing in towards your face and release the shoulders down your back. The last phase is trying to get your hands close to your foot to eventually grab the toes. The work here isn’t cranking the leg harder to get it closer. Instead, engage the hamstrings and buttocks to help lift the thigh as you draw your lower belly in and up. This will protect the lower back from strain and compression and help move you safely towards your goal. After you repeat the pose on the other side, cool down with some gentle twists and forward folds.

King Dancer Pose with Jennifer Elliott | The Manduka Blog

Have fun and good luck!


Jennifer Elliott is an ERYT-500 and Yoga Therapist. In teaching for almost two decades, her experiences include leading 200 and 300 hour teacher trainings, taking students to Costa Rica and Bali for retreats, teaching at yoga festivals across the country and working with professional athletes. For more information on Jennifer visit, JenniferElliottYoga.com.

Gear and clothing used in this post:

Adorn Tank by Manduka Adorn Tank
Flux Legging by Manduka Flux Legging
Align Yoga Strap by Manduka AligN Yoga Strap

3 thoughts on “King Dancer Pose with Jennifer Elliott”

  • […] Manduka Ambassador Jennifer Elliott is an ERYT-500 and Yoga Therapist who has been teaching for 15 years. In this guest blog post, she shares how to use props to get into King Dancer Pose more easily. You will need two blocks and a strap.   More… […]

    Reply
  • Such a great tutorial on King Dancer...and I love the leggings!

    Reply
  • Hello
    Where did you purchase your matt with the Eyelets. That option is good for airing out my mat as it hangs.
    Thank you.

    Reply

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