Purvottanasana – Reverse or Upward Plank

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Good morning Yogis! Our challengers are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, so we will learn about similar poses. Our challengers are learning about Phalakasana or Plank Pose. So, we will cover its reverse, Purvottanasana / Reverse or Upward Plank today. This an arm balance and foundation for a great Yoga Workout for the core and buns!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank Yoga Workout! If this is a new pose for you, then perhaps try just 5-10 repetitions of your reverse plank, holding for a full breath at the top. If this is familiar to you, then see how many you can do and share!

Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank Pose

Start sitting on your mat in Dandasana / Staff Pose, with your legs straight in front of you.

Feet – You will be balancing with a majority of weight on hands, but make sure to put a decent amount of weight in the heels of your feet for stability. I try to keep my feet slightly apart for more stability. Try to place the bottom of your feet flat on the floor

Legs – It is more important to keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your knees, than to have straight legs. If you are unable to support yourself with straight legs, then bend your knees and plant your feet to come into Catuspadapithamasana or Crab Pose (aka reverse table top) instead – see picture below.

Hips – Your hips and glutes are the key to keeping your body straight from head to feet or knees. Therefore, tighten and lift your glutes to keep your hips in line with the rest of your body!

Arms – This pose is great for building arm strength. I have heard directions for fingers pointing either straight back or straight forward – perhaps try both! Starting from Staff / Seated, make sure your hands/wrists are directly below your shoulders, and arms are straight. Spread your fingers wide to help support your weight, while keeping middle fingers pointing straight forward or back. Press into your palms as you tighten your glutes and core to lift your body from the floor into a straight line. Make sure you are keeping shoulders down and back, not shrugging up to your ears.

Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck neutral, try not to let head drop down or get out of line with your sine. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press up/sideways, then bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders.

Catuspadapithmanasana – Crab Pose

Please comment to share your experience or any questions! What did you think of this exercise? Which way did you point your fingers? Do you think you will add these arm strength exercises to your routine? Always remember, be kind!

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3 thoughts on “Purvottanasana – Reverse or Upward Plank

  1. I tried both hand variations and was more comfortable with my fingers pointing toward my feet. I was able to do 15 reverse planks but the last few were a struggle. Going to keep working on this pose to build my arms and booty.

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