Long day work sitting in front of a desktop or driving a long journey to reach your home. These things can actually cause slouching and pain in your spine, isn’t it? Re-balance and stretch the front of your body with regular practice of this amazing pose called Upward Plank Pose, which is also called as Purvottanasana. It is an intermediate back bending pose that helps to build strength and flexibility. This arm stretching pose comes with a lot of benefits starting from improving your inner strength to stretching your body effectively.
Purva-East | Ut-Intense | Tana-Stretch | Asana-Pose
This asana is pronounced as poorvah-uttanah-sanah, Sanskrit- पूर्वोत्तानासन. Purvottanasana means an intense east stretch. Our ancient yogis were always practising yoga facing eastward, as the Sun rises in that direction. That’s the reason, the front side of our body is always considered as “East” side. This pose helps to provide your front body with a beautiful stretch. This asana is also called as Inclines Plank Pose, Reverse Plank Pose and Backbend Pose. Many names, isn’t it interesting?
Level of Asana: Intermediate, Vinyasa
Stretches: Wrists, arms & legs
Target areas: Front ankles, Shoulders & Throat
Benefits of Upward Plank Pose
- This asana helps to strengthen your arms, legs, upper backs, triceps, wrists, and glutes
- Stretches front of ankles, chest and top of the feet
- Improves balance and builds core strength
- Stretches and strengthens your shoulders
- Therapeutic for fatigue and respiratory function
- Releases stress, anxiety, depression and calm the mind
- Stretches abdominal organs and intestines
- Regular practice of this pose helps to increases the energy level
- Stimulates the thyroid glands and keeps you healthy
If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practice this pose with the use of a chair or wall to support your head, if you have a neck injury. Avoid this pose, if you have a recent or current shoulder injury. It’s strictly a no for practitioners suffering from a wrist injury. It’s always advisable to practice yoga poses within your own ability and limit.
Steps to do a perfect Upward Plank Pose
- Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you and arms resting your sides in Dandasana.
- Bring your hands behind your hips and ensure that your fingertips are pointing towards your feet.
- Bend your knees, while placing your feet on the floor. Keep your hand shoulder width apart and your feet hip widths apart.
- Inhale, press your hands and feet down firmly and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
- Your chest must be lifted, and spine must be in one straight line. Ensure that your arms are straightened.
- Keep pressing the sole of your feet into the floor, keeping your legs glutes firm and legs straight. Ensure that your buttock is not squeezed.
- Slowly release your head, when you feel comfortable. Open your throat, lift your chest up and gaze towards the ceiling.
- Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable. Now, exhale and slowly lower your hips to the yoga mat to release from this pose.
- Sit in Dandasana and relax for few breaths. Repeat this pose for 3 to 4 times.
Variations and Modifications
Beginners might find it difficult to practice this pose in the initial days. They can use a chair for support until they gain enough flexibility and comfort in this pose. Sit at the edge of a chair and wrap your hands around the back. Now, inhale and lift your pelvis and then the legs. Stay in this posture for few breaths and then release. If you don’t have enough strength to keep your legs straight and support your bodyweight, then practice Ardha Purvottanasana. Keep patience and practice it regularly to increase flexibility and gain strength.
After you master this pose, deepen the stretch by practising one-legged Upward Plank Pose. Lift one foot off the floor and reach through the ball of your foot to touch the floor. Ensure to lift the entire leg up towards the ceiling. Now, lower your raised foot and repeat this with the other side.
You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.
Keep your shoulders above your wrist and ensure to check your alignment properly. Engage your upper body throughout the pose to lift your body. Ensure to keep your neck long and shoulders away from your ears. Extend your arms and spine.
Follow Up Poses
Regular practice of Purvottanasana helps to counteract forward bend poses like Paschimottanasana. Moreover, it’s a wonderful counter pose for strengthening poses like Chaturanga and Plank pose too. This pose helps to prepare you for more back bending postures.
Now, you know all the benefits and how to do Upward Plank Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! More you challenge yourself and practice this pose regularly, you will be able to stretch your body effectively. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!