Upward Plank Pose / Purvottanasana
Step by Step
- Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you in Dandasana.
- Place your hands a little behind your hips with the fingers pointing towards the toes, and point your feet.
- Roll your inner thighs in, draw your belly in and up, and on an inhalation lift your hips up as high as you can, keeping your chin to your chest. If you find this too challenging, bend your knees and lift up into a reverse tabletop.
- Firm your shoulder blades on your back to help lift your chest as high as possible. Only when your chest is lifted and open can you bring your head back.
- Keep your chin tucked when you bring your head back, to the point where you can't keep it tucked anymore. Then gently release your head.
- If this feels too much for your neck, keep your head up and your chin towards your chest.
- Stay here for about 5 breaths, then on an exhalation lower your hips back down into Dandasana.
- Find a hand position that suits your shoulders - if your shoulders feel tight, turning your hands outwards or with your fingers facing away from you will create more openness.
- Ensure you engage your core and glute muscles to help support you in the pose.
- Stretches the front of the shoulders, the chest and the front of the ankles
- Strengthens the arms, core, legs and back.
- Excellent counterpose for Chaturanga Dandasana
Watch out for
- Be mindful of your neck - if there are any injuries or existing weaknesses in your neck, keep your chin to your chest or look straight up when in the pose keeping your neck in line with your spine.
- Ensure your wrists remain directly under your shoulders in this pose.
- Experiment with the straight-legged or knees bent versions.
- Complementary poses
Try it in class
Open the front, strengthen the back with Sandra Carson
Level: All Levels
Duration: 16 mins