Wild Thing Pose (Camatkarasana)

Wild Thing Pose, Camatkarasana, (cah-maht-kah-RAHS-anna)

camatka (astonished) + āsana (pose)

Also known as: Flip Dog Pose, Flipped Dog Pose, Dancing Dog Pose

Pose Type: Balancing, Twisting, Backbends

Difficulty: Intermediate

wild thing

Tap into the poetic translation of Wild Thing “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart” with this fun and uplifting pose

Wild Thing Pose Fundamentals

Wild Thing Pose is not only a stunningly beautiful pose to the eye, but you also feel beautiful and powerful as you nail this asana.

It is gorgeous, dynamic, joyful, and flows like a dance.

Wild Thing is said to stimulate anahata (the heart chakra). This is reflected in its poetic translation “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart”. Because of this chakra stimulation, Wild Thing is said to evoke feelings of acceptance, peace, love, and confidence.

Leading with your heart allows you to live fearlessly and without restraint.

A proper warmup is key for Wild Thing! Don’t be tempted to dive straight into this pose. Wild Thing tests the strength, range of motion, and suppleness of the hip and shoulder joints and the core. So without proper muscle activation and joint warm-up, you may find yourself toying with a repetitive strain injury.

This expansive heart-opening posture should be practiced with full shoulder awareness. Much of your weight will be supported through the shoulder joint, so stay active and conscious through the shoulder, and avoid letting your weight-bearing shoulder simply collapse towards your ear.

Benefits of Wild Thing

  • Stretches the front body.
  • Strengthens the back body, shoulders, arms, wrists, and core.
  • Opens the heart and lungs.
  • Challenges and improves your balance.
  • Builds confidence.

How To Do Wild Thing: Step-By-Step

wild thing

How To Get There:

1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog.

2. Shift your weight over to your right hand and simultaneously roll onto the outer edge of your right foot.

3. Inhale. With joyful energy, lift your hips up towards the sky. Claw down through the fingers of the right hand.

4. Exhale. Step your left foot back, right of your right leg. Find the earth under the toes of your left foot and keep your left knee partially bent.

5. Inhale. Your right foot should be solid on the ground. Lift your hips even higher.

6. Open your chest, reach towards the front of the mat with your left arm, and curl up through the upper back, reaching up towards the sky with your ribcage. Curl your head back.

7. Hold Wild Thing for 5-10 breaths, feeling powerful and free. Return to Downward-Facing Dog and repeat on the other side.

Tips And Tricks:

  • Warm up thoroughly before coming into Wild Thing. Create a full body heat with a series of Sun Salutations.
  • Transition back out of the pose with care. Don’t neglect the way you transition out of the pose. Stay intentional.

Wild Thing Variation: Wild Thing From Side Plank

If you are working on your balancing confidence, make Wild Thing more accessible for yourself by coming into the pose from Side Plank. You should find this reduces your instability and builds your confidence.

Precautions & Contraindications:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Avoid Wild Thing if you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The pose puts a significant amount of pressure through the elbow and wrist and may compress the median nerve, worsening the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel.

Shoulder Injuries:

If you are suffering from a shoulder injury, it is best to avoid this pose as, by nature, it puts a lot of pressure on the weight-bearing shoulder joint.

Preparatory Poses

Cat-Cow

Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog

Side Plank

Downward-Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog

Counter Poses

Child’s Pose

Downward-Facing Dog

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Maria Andrews

Maria Andrews

Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover. She finds joy in learning, experiencing, and connecting.

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