How to Flip Your Dog

Have you ever been in a yoga class and had the teacher say something like, “ok now let’s raise that right leg and flip your dog?”

Here’s one variation of a Flipped Dog

The first time I heard it, I was like what the heck are they talking about? Of course, I looked around and saw folks basically hurdling themselves over backwards, almost in a back bend, but not quite. I was new and didn’t know any better so I just did the same.

Of course, this wasn’t that big of a deal at first and I thought it was so so cool because I learned a new pose! Fast forward ten years and hundreds if not thousands of flipped dogs later, I’ve learned a few things. The most important thing I’ve learned is:

Flipping your dog can hurt.

Let’s talk a few minutes about why this pose can hurt.

  • The majority of your weight is in one arm
  • That arm with the majority of the weight is at an unusual angle
  • Most of the time, people inter into and exit this pose very quickly and without much thought.
  • If you land the wrong way, that can injury your wrist, elbow or shoulder
  • Anytime you are twisting, especially with a weighted component (like your body weight in motion) that can hurt your back

Let’s just stop there, but the list can go on like neck injury, knees injuries, etc.

I don’t say all these things to scare you away from flipping your dog–not by any means. I say the precautionary things because well, I don’t want you to hurt yourself!

(because I have–in almost all the ways listed above.

Thanks Wiki for this perfect image!

How to NOT get hurt Flipping Your Dog

Watch THIS Video (be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel!

If you’re more of a read and digest learner here are a few tips:

Remember, Go slowly- try maintaining control the whole time, even if it means you can’t flip right away.

  • If you are going to flip on your left shoulder, try coming up to the tips of your fingers on your right. See if your left arm can handle that.
  • Next, bring the right hand closer to the chest, first it will be spider fingers on the mat, slowing moving down, eventually, maybe you can bring that hand to your chest and hold it.
  • Come to your right tippy toes
  • Lift the right leg up and see if you can hold your weight on your left arm and leg
  • Then, try to slowly take that lifted right leg over the left and slowly let it land on the outside of your left leg
  • While your legs are moving, actively push the ground away from your, with your shoulder actively engaged and away from your ears.
  • Let your hands move as they need to
  • Keep your elbows soft

Ok, now that you have a lot of cues, and you’ve watched the youtube video, have you given it a shot? What do you think? Have you ever tried slowing down your flip? Did you try it with those cues? Was it harder than your thought?

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