I am practicing yoga for the past 5 months. However I still struggle to lift the leg high up in 3 legged downward dog pose. The hanging leg does not cross more than 90 degree from ground despite 5 months of practice.

I would like to improve in this asana.

  • What excercises should I practice to increase the leg lift in this particular pose?
  • What is the most worked muscle when we lift leg in 3-leg downard dog pose?

When raising the leg, it helps to think about pushing the heel backwards, don't really go for height, then letting the leg 'float up'. That way you'll not crank into the lumbar spine as much, and you can use the core/glutes/quads to raise the leg. Also, it's not the height of the leg that matters. It matters more to square off the hip facing the floor, which is helping you keeping equal pressure through the shoulders down the arms.

Opening into the hip flexors/tfl/quads is allowing the leg to raise higher, without arching the back too much.

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