Bird Dog Pose and the Multifidus Muscles

The Connected Yoga Teacher Live Show: Episode 19

Today on The Connected Yoga Teacher live show, Shannon Crow talks about how bird dog pose can help to bring strength to the multifidus muscles, which are part of the core 4, (along with the diaphragm, pelvic floor and transversus abdominis).

Shannon also answers a question that is often asked by yoga teachers in a consultation call — “How can I increase my income as a yoga teacher?”

There is a video (to the left) that will walk you through bird dog pose, giving a few variations to try in your own practice or in a class that you are guiding.

Below are the benefits and cues for bird dog pose along with a book recommendation and a good image for the multifidus muscles.

Bird Dog Pose Benefits:

  • Builds strength (muscles and bones) and steadiness (balance)

    Multifidus Muscles

  • Strengthens multifidus (muscles running from the cranial vertebrae to the sacrum along the spine)
  • Beginner / gentle friendly pose that can be easily increased in level of challenge
  • Activates deep transversus abdominis and pelvic floor muscles
  • Cross-lateral movement – builds brain connections
  • Used as a pose to help with Diastasis Recti
  • Preparatory pose for arm balance postures

Bird Dog Pose Cues:

  • Continuous breath
  • Move into table – hands below shoulders, knees below hips
  • Toes tucked under – engage transversus abdominis
  • Beginner / Chair Yoga students – extend one leg behind, keeping toes on the ground
  • To lift a leg, focus on slow movements, continuing to breathe
  • Try pressing raised foot into the wall, let students know where that leg is in space
  • If that feels okay, try raising the opposite arm
  • See if you can move the leg and arm, without moving the low back
  • For more advanced students, do 2 minutes or 20 repetitions of the pose, alternating sides
  • Continue to move slowly

Book Recommendation:



Yoga Teacher Tool / Tip Links:


How to Increase Your Income as a Yoga Teacher

Money Mindset

Teaching yoga is a REAL career. Listen to Episode 11 of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast with Tracey Eccleston if you are feeling like you need a little boost in the money mindset. If you would like to dive in deeper, Rosslyn Kemerer is offering an online workshop this week all about money mindset. To register for that click here.

Teaching Private Yoga

In Episode 6 of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast, Rosslyn Kemerer walked us through how she has built her online private yoga classes as her main yoga offering. Also make sure you are subscribed to the podcast — soon we get to hear from an expert on how to start teaching private yoga classes.

Leading Retreats and Workshops

Renee Guthier and Paloma Neuman of Rock Your Yoga Retreat talked to us in Episode 13 of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast, all about how to create a successful yoga retreat. Part of that success includes an annual income from retreats. A lot of this information can also be used if you are planning to offer a workshop.