Purvottanasana or Upward Plank pose (as many people refer to it), comes from the Sanskrit word Purva meaning east side (anterior portion of the body) and Uttana meaning intense. The direct translation is intense stretching of the east or anterior portion of the body. Although not usually practiced in typical Vinyasa style yoga classes, Purvottanasana is the eighth pose of the Ashtanga primary series, and the third seated pose. It is one of the best postures in the seated primary series for developing hamstring and back bending strength.
This pose is unique in a couple of ways; first, it lengthens the front of your body, from head to toe by lifting your front body away from the floor into a gradual back-bend strengthening your back for other back bends, such as Ustrasana (Camel Pose). Second, it is one of the few poses that takes your arms into deep extension, a movement that is useful preparation for Shoulderstand; another pose that requires similar action at the shoulder joint.
Tips for Beginners
If you cannot get in the full position, do not worry! At first this position can be difficult, but do not become discouraged. You can practice this pose by leaving your knees bent (as seen in the picture), as if your body was a table with four legs. Once you are in this “table-top” position, slowly begin to lift your hips and pelvis off the floor using the strength of your quadriceps. Remember to keep your feet planted firmly on the floor.
Gradually practice. Hold for a few seconds at a time in Purvottanasana and practice the position in short sessions that will lengthen progressively over time. Remember to breathe in and out through your nose (don’t hold your breath).
Because you bear your body weight on your wrists and hands in the extended position, people with wrist problems, including wrist pains, sprains, strains, and carpel tunnel syndrome, should use caution when practicing this pose. You may should modify your hand position, use a wedge, or lower onto your elbows to do the pose safely. As with any pose that drops your head back into a back-bend (extension), people with neck issues, especially degenerative discs and facet joint arthritis, should consider keeping the chin tucked to your chest when practicing this pose.
If you suffer from any medical condition, seek the advice from your healthcare professional prior to beginning any exercise regimen, including yoga.
All 30 Minute Sequence 30-minute Sequence 45 Minute Yin Yoga 8 Limbs Of Yoga Acroyoga Advanced Yoga Poses Ashtanga Yoga Ayurveda Balancing Yoga Poses Beginner Yoga Bhakti Yoga Breathing In Yoga Chakras Chants Dosha Evening Yoga Practice Gentle Yoga Hatha Yoga Hip Openers History Of Yoga Home Yoga Insomnia Intermediate Yoga Poses Learning Sanskrit Lotus Pose Mantras Meditation Meditation For Beginners Meditation For Children Meditation For Sleep Moon Salutations Morning Yoga Om Mantra Partner Yoga Patañjali Pillars Of Yoga Practice Of Yoga Pranayama Prenatal Yoga Restorative Yoga Setting An Intention Shoulder Openers Styles Of Yoga Sun Salutations Traveling Yogi Types Of Yoga Ujjayi Breathing Vacation Yama And Niyama Yin Yoga Yin Yoga Poses Yoga And Meditation Yoga At Work Yoga Benefits Yoga Blocks Yoga Breathing Yoga Class Yoga Diet Yoga Etiquette Yoga Exercise Yoga For A Cold Yoga For Adrenal Fatigue Yoga For Arms Yoga For Arthritis Yoga For Babies Yoga For Baby Yoga For Back Pain Yoga For Beginners Yoga For Better Posture Yoga For Fertility Yoga For Glowing Skin Yoga For Hamstrings Yoga For Health Yoga For Heartburn Yoga For Insomnia Yoga For Lower Blood Pressure Yoga For Men Yoga For New Parents Yoga For Pain Yoga For Shoulders Yoga For Spine Yoga For Stress Yoga For Stress Relief Yoga For The Ankles Yoga For Two Yoga For Women Yoga Injuries Yoga Inversions Yoga Mats Yoga Nidra Yoga Poses Yoga Poses For Beginners Yoga Poses For Men Yoga Questions Yoga Retreats Yoga Sequence Yoga & Spirituality Yoga Sutras Yoga Tips Yoga Travel