The low dragon is a popular yoga pose that can help release tension and increase flexibility.
It is also one of my go-to yoga stretches that I have helped countless fitness clients master to increase their flexibility and mobility.
This article will examine how to do the low dragon, several excellent variations, and the benefits.
Whether experienced or just starting, the low dragon will be a great addition to any routine.
- The low dragon is a stretch that targets the hip flexors, groin, and quads.
- Several variations of the low dragon include dragon flying high, dragon splits, and winged dragon.
- Placing a towel or pad under the kneecap for individuals with knee injuries is suitable and doesn’t detract from the stretch.
What Is the Low Dragon?
The low dragon, or dragon flying low, is a stretch frequently seen in yoga practice that targets the hip flexors and quads.
The low dragon can help relieve sciatic pain and tension in the legs and hips.
This pose can be hard on the ankle and knee, particularly for knee pain or injury sufferers.
Placing a towel or pad under the kneecap can make the pose more comfortable without taking away from the stretch.
We will look at how to adjust the pose for the many variations shortly.
For now, here is how to perform the low dragon pose.
How to Do This Stretch
This is a step-by-step guide:
- Begin in a low lunge position with your right foot forward and your left leg extended behind you.
- Slowly lower your left knee to the ground, keeping your right knee above your ankle.
- Shift your weight back slightly and straighten your right leg, feeling a stretch in the front of your left hip and thigh.
- Place both forearms on the ground inside of your right foot for support.
- Hold for 30 seconds or longer as long as it’s comfortable.
- Return to start by coming up onto your palms and moving your back knee forward. Bring your front leg back so you are in the tabletop position (on all fours).
- Complete the movement on the opposite side, holding for the same amount of time.
Low Dragon Stretch Benefits
The primary benefit of the low dragon is that it is a deep stretch that gets right into the hip joint.
Opening up the hips improves range of motion and circulation, decreases back pain, and enhances overall mobility, particularly for lower body movements .
Because the low dragon and its variations work deep into the hip socket, they can help with sciatic pain.
Other poses that work well in tandem with the low dragon are the down dog and the child’s pose.
Performing the downward dog and child’s pose before switching sides in the dragon pose greatly relieves tension and improves flexibility.
“The very interesting thing is that we often find that low back pain is intimately related with hip dysfunction. This occurs when the back is making up for the loss of the hip’s full capabilities.”
- Chad Adams, DC, The Cleveland Clinic
Low Dragon Variations
Adjust the low dragon in the following ways to add challenge and work in different areas.
1. Dragon Pose
Also called the baby dragon, to perform this variation, instead of resting on your forearms, support yourself with both hands placed inside your front foot.
The position of your back knee remains the same as the low dragon, and you can place your hands on a yoga block instead of the mat.
2. Dragon Flying High
Set your hands on your front thigh.
Lift your chest, creating a slight backbend and increased weight over your hips.
3. Twisted Dragon
Firmly flex the front foot. Push your front knee outward with your hand, and rotate the chest towards the front knee.
4. Winged Dragon
Flex your front foot and open your knee to the side.
Roll on the outside edge of your front foot. Walk your hands forward or rest your elbows down on the mat or blocks if needed.
5. Overstepping Dragon
Bring your front knee forward until the heel almost lifts off the mat.
Position your back knee the same as the low dragon.
Your hands should be on either side of the front foot, supporting most of your weight.
You’ll feel a nice stretch in the Achilles tendon.
6. Dragon Splits
Walk your back leg further down the mat to bring both legs straight.
Place a bolster or blocks under the front hip for support.
Keep your torso up or fold over the front leg to experience different sensations.
7. Dragon at the Wall
Place one knee on a cushion against a wall; the arch of your foot should be against the wall.
Step forward with the opposite foot and sink your hips.
Set a yoga block vertically to support your front thigh and bent knee.
Lift your upper body.
8. Fire Breathing Dragon
Any of the above variations with your back toes tucked under and your back knee lifted.
This position lengthens the back leg and puts more weight on the hips, increasing the stretch.
What Does the Low Dragon Stretch?
The low dragon stretches the hips and groin muscles, increasing hip mobility and reducing tightness in the quads caused by prolonged sitting or physical activity.
What Is Dragon Pose Good For?
The dragon pose is good for reducing tension in the hip flexors, quads, and glutes. Tightness in these muscles can limit range of motion and lead to further injury. Relieving tension can increase mobility and decrease injury risk.
Are You Ready to Try the Low Dragon?
Adding the low dragon to your stretching routine can increase hip flexibility and release tension.
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