All About Dragon Pose
Yoga Design Lab

All About Dragon Pose

Jul 10, 2024

Dragon pose, also known as "Utthan Pristhasana" in Sanskrit, is a unique and dynamic yoga posture that specifically targets the hips, thighs, and groin. This pose, often referred to as Lizard pose, is a deep lunge that plays a crucial role in many yoga sequences. It is particularly beneficial for hip opening and flexibility and offers many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. This guide will provide detailed instructions on performing Dragon Pose, exploring its variations, and highlighting its unique advantages, giving you a comprehensive understanding of how to incorporate this posture into your yoga practice effectively. 

Physical Benefits of Dragon Pose: 

1. Hip Opening:

Dragon Pose is a deep hip opener that stretches the hip flexors, quads, and groin. The pose helps alleviate tightness and improve overall hip mobility by lengthening these muscles. It is particularly beneficial for individuals who spend long hours sitting, as it helps counteract the effects.

2. Increased Flexibility

Regular practice of Dragon Pose increases the range of motion in the hip joints, contributing to greater overall flexibility. Stretching these muscles consistently can improve their elasticity, making them less prone to injuries.

3. Relief from Lower Back Pain:

Tight hip flexors can contribute to lower back pain. By stretching these muscles, dragon pose can alleviate pressure on the lower back, providing significant relief from discomfort. Practicing dragon pose regularly can help ease sciatica, offering a hopeful solution for those struggling with back pain. 

4. Improved Circulation:

The deep stretch in Dragon Pose increases blood flow to the pelvic region, enhancing overall circulation and promoting healing in the lower body. Energetically, Dragon Pose targets the Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gall Bladder, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder meridians.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

1. Stress Relief:

The hips are often a storage area for stress and emotional tension. Dragon Pose helps release this built-up tension, promoting a sense of relaxation and calm. Focusing on the breath and sensations in the body during the pose encourages mindfulness, reducing anxiety, and promoting mental clarity.

2. Emotional Balance:

According to yogic tradition, the hips are associated with the energy of emotions. By opening the hips, Dragon Pose can facilitate the release of suppressed emotions, leading to a sense of emotional balance and well-being, helping you feel more centered and calm.

How to do Dragon Pose: 

Dragon pose can be an intense stretch, so it's crucial to warm up properly to prepare your body and prevent injury. Here are a few effective warm-up asanas you can incorporate into your practice before attempting Dragon Pose. This will ensure you practice the pose safely and reap its full benefits. 

  1. Cat/Cow: (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
  2.  Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
  3.  Bound Angle Pose or Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)

Let’s dive into how to safely and effectively practice Dragon pose. 

  1. Begin in a tabletop position (Bharmanasana)) or a downward-facing dog (Ardo Mukah Svanasana). 
  2. Inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning your knee directly over your ankle. Allow your back leg to be extended straight behind you, with the top of your foot resting on the ground.
  3. Exhale and gently lower your left knee to the ground. Slide your left leg back as far as is comfortable, allowing your hips to sink toward the floor. If uncomfortable, roll up a yoga towel or mat to place under the knee to bring the earth closer to you.
  4. Place your hands on either side of your right foot. For support, keep your hands on the ground, yoga blocks, or your right thigh. Lower your forearms to the ground for a deeper stretch.
  5. Allow your hips to sink further with each exhale. Focus on lengthening your spine and opening your hips. Keep your gaze forward or down, maintaining a relaxed neck. Hold this pose for 1-3 minutes, then move to the other side. 

A high-quality yoga mat will help you excel in your dragon pose. Our Yoga Design Lab Flow Yoga Mat is thick and provides good cushioning for your joints. Its beautiful designs can also help you mark where to plant your knee and foot. 


There are a few variations to Dragon pose that you can try to deepen your practice and feel the empowerment of mastering something new! 

1. Flying Dragon: 

From the basic dragon pose, lift your back knee off the ground for a more intense stretch and strength challenge. This variation engages the core muscles and increases the intensity of the stretch in the hip flexors and quadriceps.

2. Twisting Dragon: 

From the base position, twist your torso towards your front leg and gently press your front knee out with your hand, rotating the chest up towards the bent knee. This variation adds a spinal twist, enhancing the stretch along the spine and improving overall flexibility.

3. Winged Dragon:

From dragon with your hands on the floor on the inside of the front foot, flex your front foot and open your knee to the side, rolling on the outside edge of your front foot. Walk your hands forward or rest your elbows on your mat or yoga blocks if needed.


Modifications for Dragon Pose can help make the posture more accessible or comfortable, especially if you have tightness or limited flexibility.

1. Use blocks for supported dragon pose:

Place a yoga block under each hand to lift your torso up and release pressure off the front leg. 

2. Rest forearms on a yoga bolster:

If pressing your hands into the mat puts too much strain on the wrists, you can rest your forearms on a bolster to support you and release pressure from the wrists. 

3. Elevate the back knee:

 If you experience discomfort in your back knee, you can fold your yoga mat to make a cushion or place a yoga bolster or blanket underneath the knee or shin.

4. Keep the back toes tucked:

If untucking your back toes is uncomfortable, you can keep them tucked under for added stability and support. 


Dragon pose is an intense asana that can be very taxing on the body. Take caution if you recently injured your hip, knee, or ankle. Also, be extra careful if you have any spinal issues to prevent them from being aggravated. Support yourself with a yoga prop or two to make it safe! 

Counter poses: 

Counterposes are essential in yoga to balance the body and release any tension or strain created during a particular posture. Since dragon pose primarily targets the hip flexors, quadriceps, and groin muscles, it is vital to do poses that stretch the lower back and outer hips. Here are some counterposes that complement Dragon Pose:

  1. Downward-facing dog (Ardo Mukah Svanasana). 
  2. Childs pose (Balasana)
  3. Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Incorporating Dragon Pose into your yoga practice can bring significant physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Whether you are seeking to improve hip flexibility, release emotional tension, or find relief from lower back pain, the variations and modifications of Dragon Pose make it accessible to practitioners of all levels. By embracing this transformative posture, you can deepen your yoga practice and cultivate greater well-being on and off the mat. So, take the time to explore and integrate Dragon Pose into your routine and experience the holistic benefits it offers.

About Victoria Cummins

Meet Victoria Cummins, whose journey into yoga began under the guidance of her father during her formative years. Yoga swiftly became an indispensable part of her life. In 2021, Victoria traveled to Rishikesh, India, where she earned her 200-hour yoga teacher certification, specializing in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Pre/Post Natal Yoga. Beyond her yoga practice, Victoria embraces a life by the ocean; from years spent as a lifeguard to her current role as a surf coach in Nicaragua, she continues to inspire others through her passion for both yoga and the sea.