You can call Upward Plank Pose / Purvottanasana an antidote to Chaturanga Dandasana (4-Limbed Staff Pose). Some people practice Chaturanga too much, and as a result the muscles of the chest tighten, the shoulders are being drawn forward and you end up with a bulky rounded stiff upper back and collapsed chest.........basically not a very balanced way to practice yoga. It will also prevent an effortless opening of the chest in backbends.
Upward plank pose is a great counterpose. It stretches the arms, wrists and shoulders in a reversed way to Chaturanga Dandasana. Basically you can say this pose stretches most of the muscles Chaturanga strengthens. Also it strengthens muscles in the upper body that you need/want to be strong to be able to practice Chaturanga in a healthy way.
My message and advice is to practice this pose regularly and extensively if you love your Chaturanga and really work on getting strong in this pose. This will help your Chaturanga to be healthy and to stay injury free!
A few tips to make this pose more bearable, because its not a walk in the park :-)
- Inwardly rotate your thigh bones while sitting in Dandasana / Staff pose, before you lift up.
- Already really open your chest before lifting up in this pose, firm shoulder blades on the back.
- If its hard and you need to build up strength, bend knees and perform Reversed Table Top pose instead.
- Go for it, give it your all!!
Here is a step-by-step instruction on Upward Plank Pose / Purvottanasana