How to Do Wild Thing Pose in Yoga (Guide to Camatkarasana)

Wild Thing is a beautiful heart-opening yoga pose with an element of balance. In its nature, it’s almost the opposite of Downward Facing Dog pose, which is why this asana is sometimes known as Flip-Dog. It requires a fair amount of strength, flexibility, and coordination, which is why it isn’t easy to achieve in the early days of your practice. However, once you gain some understanding of your body and develop better spatial awareness, this pose can be a powerful addition to your practice.

“To me, the name of this pose perfectly reflects the way it makes me feel,” says Yoga Answered contributor Cat Harvey. “With my heart open to the sky, I feel wild, free, and incredibly empowered.”

Wild Thing Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Camatkarasana
Pose Type: Arm Balance Yoga Poses, Chest-Opening Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Intermediate pose
Targets: Shoulders, wrists, chest, spine, glutes, and legs.
Benefits: Wild Thing will definitely challenge your sense of coordination and balance. On paper, it looks fairly straightforward, but it can get quite confusing when it comes to performing this pose. Through persistent practice, you can really develop a deeper awareness of your body and the space around you. Furthermore, this pose strengthens many areas of the body, including the back, glutes, legs, shoulders, and wrists. It creates an opportunity to open your thoracic spine, which increases lung capacity and improves blood pressure.
Preparatory Poses: Side Plank Pose, Upward Plank, Wheel Pose (Upward Bow)

How to Do Wild Thing Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Come into Plank Pose. Carefully transfer the weight into the left side of the body, really grounding though your left hand and foot. Roll over the outer arch of your foot and rotate the body to Side Plank.
  2. After establishing balance, bend your top (right) leg and step it behind you, resting the ball of the foot on the ground. From this position, start twisting to open the heart and hips towards the sky.
  3. Reach your top (right) arm overhead, creating a curved line all the way from your left foot to your right fingertips. Alternatively, reach your right arm behind you for a half-reverse-prayer position.
  4. Stay here for 3-5 breaths. To exit, retrace your steps to return to Plank Pose. Take a short rest in Child’s Pose and repeat Wild Thing on the other side.

Beginner’s Tip

Since this is quite a difficult pose to execute, it’s best to start with some preparation. Resting your weight between one hand and two feet will place a lot of strain on the wrist, so make sure that you are thoroughly warmed up before even attempting Wild Thing. To strengthen your wrists, practice poses like Plank, Downward Facing Dog, and Side Plank. Due to a particular angle of the body and the engagement required from the muscles in your legs, glutes, and back, you would also benefit from practicing poses like Bridge Pose and Upward Plank Pose. Finally, there is a large focus on backbending and heart-opening in Wild Thing Pose, so spend some time working on spinal flexibility.

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