Frog Pose

FrogPose.jpg

Mandukasana

At first glance frog is as awkward as the striking angles it displays.  Frog pose is not as common as down dog or warrior one, however its benefits have made it a staple in my teaching repertoire.  It is perhaps one pose that actually looks just like its namesake.

 

How to: Frog

Begin in table pose, on your hands and knees.  Make sure your hips are directly over your knees and your lower legs are parallel to each other.  Lower down to your forearms and begin to slowly separate your knees as far as they can go.  From a side view your hip joint will be in the same line as your knee joint and your ankles will be directly behind your knees.  Your toes will be facing out to the left and right respectively.  Your knees hips and ankle joints will all be in 90 degree angles.  Come to a depth where you can feel a significant stretch and still breathe comfortably.  Try to relax your shoulders out of your ears.  

It is particularly comforting to hold this pose with blocks under your chest and or pelvis.  Once you release all your weight into the blocks your groin will let go notably.  

You can hold this pose starting at one minute and work up to a mind blowing 30 minute mental toughness experience.

 

Benefits of Frog Pose

The role of frog is vast.  Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include:

  • Opens the hip joint
  • Improves abduction
  • Strengthens the low back while opening hip
  • Helps digestion
  • Opening of hips reduces strain on knees


For the lay person or Yogi, Frog is a great pose to sit in for long holds and come into full breathing pranayama practice.  Many people with poor posture and sedentary lifestyles end up with severe tightening in the hips.  Even those of us with the best intentions and healthy routines can fall into the tight hipped category.  Frog gives the practitioner the opportunity to sit with the hips and negotiate their opening.  It also gives the practitioner the chance to tune into their hip tightness and become clear on whether they are tighter on one side.  Knowledge of this gives you the potential to sideline an injury before it actually happens.  It’s like rotating the tires on your car.  If you drive for miles and miles and your cars alignment is off you will eventually wear one tire bald and it will blow.  However continually checking tires and alignment gives you the stitch in time to avoid the blowout.  The same scenario hold true with your body. Knowledge is power.

It is really a simple pose to execute the yogic test comes by holding it and breathing.

For the athlete frog should be a vital part of the routine.  From Hockey players especially goalies, to soccer players and base runners, quick agility moves that can prove to be groin rippers will be a thing of the past when frog is a permanent part of their lives.  As I mentioned before also giving the hip every opportunity to open and be loose in every direction has been proven to reduce the risk of knee injury.  Any quick torque or slick move will direct its energy to the point of least resistance which is the volatile vulnerable knee joint.  

Although you should always consult your physician and research a properly trained teacher before starting a yoga practice, there are a few instances where you should avoid this pose entirely:

  • Those with inguinal hernia
  • Those with knee or hip pain will perform under supervision with modifications.


Have fun exploring this pose and learning about your body

 

About the Author

Gwen Lawrence has been a practicing fitness professional since 1990. Her current practice includes private yoga training, class instruction and her sport-specific Power Yoga for Sports training program www.poweryogaforsports.com. Gwen’s unique combination of dance, massage and yoga training experience, coupled with her extensive knowledge of anatomy,and nutrition, provide her clients, and athletes with overwhelming benefits. Gwen is the yoga coach for several New York Yankees baseball players, team yoga instructor for the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, New York Rangers, several major college teams,including Yale and UNC, and  many youth teams in a variety of sports. She is also the official spokesperson for AFRIN PureSea, and ambassador for Lululemon, her writing appears in Men's Health, Women's Health, Fitness Magazine and shape.com.  She has made appearances on NBC TODAY show and many TV news and national radio shows. Gwen also owns her own Yoga School where she trains people to teach the power yoga for sports system.

Gwen lives in the New York tri state area with her Husband, and three teenage boys.