Wild Thing (Camatkarasana), aka Rock Star Pose or “Flip the Dog,” is a vibrant, energetic pose that can be described as an “ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.”
A combination of a backbend, a balancing pose, hip opener, and a core strengthener, Wild Thing should be approached with a sense of playfulness and lighthearted curiosity as a joyful expression of your own grace and inner strength.
We all have an inner “Wild Thing” or “Rock Star”—this pose is about letting it out!
Benefits of Wild Thing Pose:
Wild Thing offers a stretch for the chest, shoulders, and throat, as well as the hip flexors and front legs. The pose also builds strength in the arms, shoulders, and upper back, and has an invigorating effect that can combat fatigue and mild depression.
Note that those with any shoulder or wrist issues should approach this pose with caution and awareness.
Wild Thing Pose Step-By-Step:
- Begin in Plank with your shoulders stacked directly over your wrists and your legs active and engaged. Bring your feet and legs together to touch and walk your right hand in to the center of your mat.
- On an exhale, bring your weight into your right hand, roll onto the outer edge of your right foot, and extend your left arm straight up toward the ceiling to come into Side Plank (Vasisthasana). Keep your feet stacked on top of one another and your hips lifted.
- From Side Plank, step your left foot back behind you with the left knee bent and place the ball of your left foot on the ground.
- Begin to soften your shoulder blades and allow your upper back to curl into a backbend. Inhaling deeply, extend your lifted arm forward and down as a vibrant expression of the heart, and allow the head and neck to hang softly.
- Press down through the feet and the right hand to find more buoyancy in the hips—remember that what goes down, must come up!
- Take 5 full, deep breaths in your expression of the pose, then begin to send your gaze back to the center of your mat and step back to Plank. Whenever you feel ready, repeat on the other side.
- Wild Thing is often entered from Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog (hence calling this entry “Flip the Dog”). While this is a wonderful way to enter this pose, I always encourage my students to practice cultivating a strong and aligned Wild Thing from Side Plank before attempting to “Flip the Dog” to avoid jarring the body by dropping into a pose that can be fairly intense. In addition, entering the pose from Side Plank helps to strengthen the muscles of the core and can thus provide an added sense of stability.
- Feel free to experiment with different variations and expressions of the pose such as stepping the foot closer to the front of the mat for a deeper backbend, or placing the lifted hand over the heart.
- For an added challenge, try placing the lifted hand down on the ground and coming into full Wheel pose from Wild Thing.
Which parts of Wild Thing are the most challenging for you to do? Share your opinions, questions, tips, and experiences with the DOYOUYOGA community in the comments!