How to do Airplane Pose

Learn how to take flight in this balancing yoga posture.

Airplane pose, or Dekasana, is a variation of Warrior 3 pose. It requires focus, a mastery of basic skills and an attitude of fun. As with any pose, approach Airplane slowly and deliberately. Once you’ve earned your wings, you can start to cultivate a feeling of lightness, lifting your wings and enjoying the full stretch this posture offers. Beginners can practice balancing for five to 10 breaths at a time.

PURPOSE OF THE POSE

Can help teach balance. Helps stretch the upper body and aides in strengthening the lower body.

HOW TO

  • Start at the front of your mat in Mountain Pose
  • Fold forward. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and lift your right leg to a 90-degree angle
  • Put a soft bend in your standing leg
  • Internally rotate your lifted leg so that your hips are square to the floor
  • Bring your hands to the center of your chest. Pause for balance
  • Reach your arms back toward your sides like wings
  • Lift your pinky fingers toward each other and stretch your chest open
  • Set your gaze to one point, about a foot in front of your mat
  • Release by setting your foot on the mat and returning to standing. Switch sides

MODIFICATION: HANDS TOGETHER

Instead of reaching your arms back like wings, press your palms together in front of your chest.

COMMON MISTAKE

Don’t allow your chest to dip toward the floor. Your airplane should be taking off, so lift your upper body away from the floor.

Once you’ve mastered taking flight, try practicing a few more balancing poses, such as Half Moon, Tree and Dancer’s Pose.