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Jumping Through From Downward Dog

With Dr Kiki Morriss

Sun Salutation 2022

This month we look at jumping through from Downward Dog to Staff Pose, as a variation of the Sun Salutation sequence. This advanced movement requires training of your upper body, torso and pelvis muscles, as well as good hip flexibility and mental focus. You can lift your body higher by using yoga blocks.


  • From Downward Dog, lift your legs and use your gluteus maximus and quadratus lumborum (your hip and back extensors) to allow a slight arch of your back.
  •  As you lift your legs, bring your torso over your shoulders.


  • When you have lifted your torso and pelvis, use your hip flexors to fold your hips and bring your feet between your arms.
  • Cross your legs at your shins rather than your ankles, as this will make your body more compact.


  • Use yoga blocks to give you height and to get the sense that you are lifting your body with your arms.
  • Lift your legs if you have the strength, but if not you can keep your feet on the floor.


  • Activate your hip flexors and rectus abdominis to flex your hips and trunk, allowing you to lift your legs.
  • Use your triceps to straighten your elbows.
  • Press firmly down onto the ground or onto your yoga blocks.
  • Lower your shoulders away from your ears by contracting the lower third of your trapezius.
  • Lowering your shoulders, while your elbows are straight and your hands are fixed on the ground, will help you to lift
    your body.



  • Jump or step through into Staff Pose.
  • Use your triceps to extend your elbows.
  • Place your hands on either side of your hips and press them down on the ground, spreading weight evenly across your palms.
  • Contract your psoas muscle to flex your hips.
  • Straighten your legs by using your quadriceps.
  • Press your heels away from you and bring your toes towards you.
  • Use your rhomboids to draw your shoulder blades towards the centre line and to open your chest.
  • Activate your pectoralis major and serratus anterior to lift your ribcage.
  • Use the lower third of your trapezius to soften your shoulders away from your ears.


  • Strengthens your upper body, torso and pelvis muscles.
  • Increases hip flexibility.
  • Increases resilience and determination.
  • Encourages a growth mindset.
  • Enhances concentration.


  • Avoid the action of jumping through if you have a shoulder, elbow or wrist injury.

In this case walking through is a safer option.

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"Yoga is not about self-improvement, it's about self-acceptance."

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Doctor Kiki Morriss is a medical doctor, yoga teacher, yoga therapist and founder of Primrose Hill Yoga, where she teaches adults, children and families. Visit: or

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