What is frog pose yoga, and what does it actually do for the body?
The frog pose – also known as Adho Mukha Mandukasana in Sanskrit words – is a restorative yoga posture that opens your hips, groin muscles, and lower back, as well as increases blood circulation, energy, digestion, and stress. All with a great dose of breathing and mindfulness. The challenge of this position comes from keeping your hips square while maintaining a deep stretch. Plus, it’s a great way to prepare your body for more challenging yoga poses down the road.
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If you’re looking to add some froggy stretches into your routine, this guide will walk you through how to do the frog pose yoga to strengthen your glutes and inner thigh muscles while also stretching your hips. So get ready to hop into the powerful frog pose yoga and let all your worries wash away.
What You’ll Need Before Getting Started
In order to get the most out of your session, it’s important to have the right equipment:
- A yoga mat for cushioning and support.
- A soft towel is also helpful for wiping away sweat.
- Comfortable yoga pants and yoga top.
- And a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
Then, find a comfortable spot on your mat and take a deep breath in. Remember to take things one step at a time and be patient with yourself as you progress in your session.
How to Do Frog Pose – All The Steps Involved
To get into the frog pose Mandukasana, follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Start by sitting on your heels with your knees bent and your toes pointing back.
- Then, place your hands on the floor in front of you and lean forward.
- Once you’re in position, slowly lower yourself down onto your forearms.
- Now open up your knees so that your legs are in a diamond shape.
- Press down into your heels and begin to straighten your legs as much as possible.
- To deepen the stretch, try actively pressing your inner thighs outward.
- Maintain the pose for at least 1 minute (ideally 3–5 minutes).
- Finally, slowly release and return to sitting on your heels.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Frog Pose
In yoga, the frog pose is a deep hip opener that can help to release tension and promote flexibility. Here are some recommendations you may find helpful.
- Place a yoga mat or yoga blanket under the knees for support.
- Don’t push yourself – start simple and gradually ease into it.
- Use a stack of yoga prop blocks when resting your forehead or chest.
- Release the frog pose if you feel pain or discomfort.
- Avoid the yoga practice after eating at all costs.
- Don’t feel strange if you suddenly have an intense emotion.
- To alleviate cramps (if any), let your belly relax and soften.
Benefits of Doing Frog Pose Yoga On A Regular Basis
When practising the frog pose, you can work on the hips, groin muscles, inner thighs, shoulders, low back, and core. That’s why you can expect to experience the following:
- Opens your hips and groin muscles. This feels good and supports your flexibility and range of motion. It requires you to use all of your abdominal muscles and your back and leg muscles to maintain proper alignment. The frog pose is a great way to release tension if you’re feeling stiff because it counteracts muscle tightness.
- May ease back pain. Back pain is a familiar feeling. Whether it’s due to poor posture, sitting for extended periods, or a previous injury, back pain can be both debilitating and frustrating. But there is hope! Frog Pose is a simple yet effective yoga pose that may help to alleviate low back tightness, ease sciatica pain, and overall back health.
- Boosts blood circulation. The opening of the hips and thighs combined with breathing, and meditation, allows better blood flow throughout the body and reduces high blood pressure ending up with a well-balanced circulatory system.
- Supports mental health. This is because of its ability to ease anxiety, provide calm, and improve concentration. Breathing deeply is an essential part of the posture, assists cognitive functions and lower feelings of depression.
- Helps diabetes management. There’s a therapeutic role of yoga in Type 2 Diabetes. When we do frog pose, we stimulate the pancreas, which increases the production of insulin – something essential for regulating blood sugar levels.
- Improves work-related stress. For those of us who sit at desks all day, our hips become tight, and our backs start to ache. The results are dramatic stress levels that can impact our work performance and our personal lives. So the frog pose helps to release that tension, reduce mood disorders, and stimulates digestion.
- Enhances sexual life. It provides a wonderful stretch for the inner thighs, which can lead to increased blood flow to the pelvic region, and, therefore, more sensation and pleasure by awakening dormant energy centres in the body.
Listen to your body and stop doing the pose in case you feel any discomfort. If you have any knee injuries, please consult with a doctor before practising any yoga poses.
Modifications and Variations of Frog Pose Mandukasana
Exploring alternative frog pose variations – that you can do on different levels depending on your experience and flexibility – is always a good idea. Here are four ways to do so.
1. Happy Baby Pose
Sometimes frog pose can be a bit too intense for some. If you’re new to yoga or if you’re pregnant, for example, you might want to try a modification of the pose. Happy Baby Pose is a great way to still get the many benefits of frog pose without going too deep into the stretch.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent.
- Grab hold of the outside edges of your feet and draw your knees toward your chest.
- Press your lower back into the floor and allow your knees to fall open to the sides.
- Hold the pose for 5–10 breaths, then slowly release and return to neutral.
2. Thread the Needle
Although it may seem like a small adjustment, adding the Thread the Needle variation to Frog Pose can make a difference in your practice. This is the way to go when you feel that the frog pose is too much, and you find yourself struggling to maintain proper alignment.
- Begin in a tabletop position, and lower your torso down to the mat.
- Then, slowly slide one arm underneath your body while resting your cheek on the mat.
- As you exhale, twist part of your torso to extend the other hand/arm toward the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 5–8 deep breaths before returning to the tabletop.
- Finally, remember to repeat on the other side.
3. Half Frog Pose
This is a variation that can help make the full frog pose more accessible, or you can enjoy it on its own as a restorative hip opener. To get into the Half Frog Pose…
- Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart.
- Place your hands on the floor in front of you, and then slowly lift your chest.
- Bend one of your legs, and gently bring your heel as close to your bottom as possible.
- With the hand on the same side, reach back and grasp the top of the foot.
- Hold this pose for 5–10 breaths, and then repeat with the opposite leg.
4. Bolster/Block-supported Frog Pose
Perfect for beginners or those with tight hips seeking a more relaxed experience. By placing either a pillow, block or bolster under the pelvis, you can ensure that the hips are properly aligned and supported, allowing you to fully open the hip joints and sink deeper into the pose.
- Place a yoga bolster, pillow, or yoga block across the mat and lie down on your belly.
- Then, put your hands on the floor in front of you and spread your legs out to the sides.
- Rest your forehead on the bolster and breathe deeply.
- Stay in this position for 5–10 breaths or until you feel ready to release.
Precautions When Doing Frog Yoga Pose
The frog pose is a rewarding yoga pose that opens the hips, groin, and inner thighs. When done correctly, it can also help release lower back and legs tension. Always take some time to warm up your muscles before attempting the pose, and breathe smoothly and evenly throughout the pose. But, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing the frog pose.
- Lower back, hip or knee area problems. If you have any of these, it’s best to modify the pose or avoid it altogether. To modify, place a block under your forehead and keep your knees bent. There are other hip-openers to choose from.
- Abdominal surgery recovery process. The pose puts a lot of pressure on the abdominal area, which can be painful or even dangerous for those who are still healing. Remember, listen to your body and heed the advice of your doctor. And if you’re in the very early stages of recovery, focus on other strengthening and stretching exercises.
- Presence of cardiovascular issues. When you’re in the pose, your heart is above your head, which can strain it, so it’s important to be cautious. Consider placing a block under your buttocks, so your heart isn’t lifted as high. In a yoga practice, there’s no rush to achieve advanced poses. The key is to move in a way that feels good for you.
- Ulcers. Ulcers are open sores in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. In this position, the thighs press heavily against the stomach. You can do the pose with your legs wider apart to take some of the pressure off the stomach.
If you find yourself holding your breath, it means that you’ve gone too far. Come out of the pose slowly and carefully, being sure to use your hands for support if needed.
Common Mistakes When Doing Frog Pose
Here are some common mistakes people make when performing frog pose:
- Not keeping the knees parallel. Otherwise, you could put too much pressure on one knee and increase an unnecessary risk of injury. The same goes if your feet are too close together. Make sure to keep your feet about hips-width apart so that your weight is evenly distributed.
- Failing to engage the core muscles. It’s easy to let the hip flexors do all the work in this pose, but that can lead to strain and pain in the lower back. Instead, focus on contracting the abs and keeping the spine neutral.
- Not placing a yoga block under the hips. If you don’t have a yoga block at hand, you can use a pillow to place it under your hips for added support and comfort.
- Forgetting to breathe. When you’re deep in the stretch, it’s easy to hold your breath, but that’s not okay. Make sure to keep breathing steadily throughout the pose.
- Not keeping the back straight. It’s common for people to round their back when they start to feel the stretch in their hips, but this may hurt your spine. Keep your back straight and your shoulders down as you do the frog pose.
Get a deeper stretch in your hips
The frog pose is a great way to gain hip mobility. It also strengthens the muscles in the legs and groin area. The best part is that the frog pose can be modified to fit your own body type and level of flexibility. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry – we have all the steps involved, plus tips on how to make this pose work for you. It gets the blood flowing and wakes up your body. If you have time, try to do the pose for 5-10 minutes each morning. You will notice a difference in how you feel throughout the day. So what are you waiting for? Are there any other yoga poses that you would like us to cover?