Purvottanasana

Common Title Purvottanasana
English Title Upward Plank Pose
Sanskrit Title Purvottanasana
All Titles Upward Plank Pose, Purvottanasana, Inclined Plan Pose, Inverted Plank
Pose Level Beginner
Pose Position Supine
Pose Type Strength, Back-Bend, Stretch, Inversion, Balance
Sanskrit Pronunciation Play Audio
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Yoga Sequences

List of yoga sequences with Purvottanasana:

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In Sanskrit, ‘purva’ = ‘east’, ‘ut tan’ = ‘intense stretch’ and ‘asana’ = ‘posture’. In yogic language the front part of the body right from tips of the toes to the crown of the head is considered the east. Hence, in Purva ut tan asana = East Intense stretch posture, of in other words Upward Plank Pose, the entire front portion of the body is stretched to the maximum in a slight back bend. It is just the opposite side of the body which is stretched and hence related to the Plank Pose. This pose is generally practiced after Paschimottanasana.

How to do Purvottanasana

The below cues added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Purvottanasana depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.

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  1. Hold for 5 breaths (Fingers pointing towards your feet, not away) ...
  2. Lean back, place palms directly under shoulders. OPTION 1: REVERSE TABLE TOP Bend knees, bring feet to where knees were. OPTION 2: PURVOTTANASA... ...
  3. Begin in reverse table top, stretch one leg out then the other. Look forward. Only let your head drop back if you are shrugging shoulders to protect... ...
  4. Start in reverse table top, if this is comfortable extend one leg, then the other. Keep chest and hips high. Third eye shinning toward the ceiling. ...
  5. place the hands behind your back with your fingers pointing forward or back. Knees can bend or straighten according to what feels rights. Feel the lif... ...
  6. - engage your gluts -point toes forward ...
  7. Doigts pointés vers les talons. ...
  8. Inhale and gently rise up. Place your hands on the floor, just behind you hips. Press down through the hands and feet and raise the hips upwards into ... ...
  9. Mooladhara chakra/1 chakra, Swadishthara chakra/2 chakra, Vishudda chakra/5 chakra & Ajna chakra/6 chakra. ...
  10. 5 breaths. Transition to Cow Face Pose. ...
  11. 3 breaths. Slowly come down and transition to Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. ...
  12. 3 breaths. Transition to Bridge Pose. ...
  13. 3 breaths. Lower back to the mat. Time for a little Core Work. ...
  14. NOTE Chest is expanded and relaxed , improving lung capacity Counter pose to forward bend ...

Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Purvottanasana

Purvottanasana Benefits

Purvottanasana Benefits:

Human Anatomy

  • Improves the functioning of the thyroid gland: The thyroid gland at the neck, with the secretion of thyroid hormone, helps in metabolic rate of the body and also helps in the development of the human body.
  • Improves the functioning of the adrenal gland: The adrenal gland which lie above the kidneys helps in the supply of blood and secretes a number of different hormones which are essential for a proper balance within the body.
  • Improves the functioning of the thymus:The thymus located in front of the heart, helps in maintaining the immune system. It helps the body fight foreign invaders.

General Benefits

  • Greater strength at the shoulders and arms: Purvottanasana improves the strength at the wrists going upwards to the entire arm including the shoulders. The weight of the body if balanced well on the shoulders and the wrists will not only make the pose easy but will improve the muscle strength around the shoulders without causing injury.
  • Reduces cramps at the calf, hamstrings and quadriceps: Repeated practice of this pose will open the muscles at the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves thus reducing the cramps.
  • Great pose for athletes: For most sports the arms and the legs are to be worked at, and Upward Plank Pose gives both the benefit of improving the a...
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Purvottanasana Contraindications

 (Upward Plank Pose) Purvottanasana Contraindications:

Certain things to keep in mind while practicing Upward Plank Pose.

  • High Blood Pressure: This pose needs to be practiced with guidance when suffering from high blood pressure, as the head and neck fall back loose bringing in sudden flow of blood to the head.
  • To be avoided if suffering from severe migraine: A proper guidance is needed if one is suffering from severe migraine, as the head falls back loose during the practice of this pose.
  • Any kind of injury at the wrists, neck and back: Keep in mind that any injury caused will hinder the practice of this pose, hence one needs to be cautious.
  • General weak body: It is important to work on the basic strength of the body before the practice of this pose, as the elbow joints, the wrist joints are not used to taking the weight of the body, while the arms are placed behind you.

Purvottanasana Variations

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Purvottanasana Steps

 (Upward Plank Pose) Purvottanasana Steps:
  1. From the Forearm Side Plank Pose, slowly turn the torso in supine and throwing the chest and the abdomen upwards, go into Purvottanasana.
  2. Here in Upward Plank Pose, placing both the palms on the floor with fingers pointed outwards, and with the firm grip of the feet on the floor, raise the entire body upwards and balance the body on the arms and the feet.
  3. This deep stretch at the shoulders and arms gives a deep opening of the heart with the gentle back bend. Remain here for about 6 breaths or more and watch for the arms.
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Purvottanasana Modifications

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Purvottanasana Preparatory Poses

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Purvottanasana Relaxing Follow-up Poses

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Purvottanasana Level Up Follow-up Poses

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Purvottanasana Yoga Sequences

Purvottanasana Titles in English and Sanskrit

Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Purvottanasana:

  • Upward Plank Pose
  • Purvottanasana
  • Inclined Plan Pose
  • Inverted Plank

Purvottanasana Sanskrit

Please click on the link below to listen to Sanskrit pronunciation of Purvottanasana:

Play Sanskrit Audio File.

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