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 also one pose that actually looks 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 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. Your ankles will be directly behind your knees, and 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:
- Open hip joints, which reduces strain on the knees
- Improve abduction
- Strengthen the lower back while opening hips
- Help digestion
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 be tight-hipped. Frog allows you to sit with your hips and negotiate their opening and tune into their tightness. You can learn whether your hips are tighter on one side more than another, which gives you the potential to sideline an injury before it actually happens.
This experience is similar to rotating the tires on your car. If you drive for miles and miles and your car alignment is off, you will eventually wear one tire bald and it will blow. However, continually checking tires and alignment gives you time to avoid the blowout. The same scenario hold true with your body. Knowledge is power.
Frog is really a simple pose to execute, but the yogic test comes by holding it and breathing. For the athlete, Frog should be a vital part of the routine. From hockey and soccer players to base runners and triathletes, groin pain from quick agility moves will be a thing of the past with Frog pose as a permanent part of life.
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.