Purvottanasana (Upward Plank)

(PUR-voh-tun-AHS-uh-nuh)
“Purvottanasana”, actually translates to “Intense East Stretch.” This comes from four words:
“Purva” — meaning “east”
“Ut” — meaning “intense”
“Tan” — meaning “to stretch”
“Asana” — meaning “pose”

Upward Plank Pose is an uplifting (sometimes intense) posture that is all about lifting up and out to build strength, endurance and flexibility both physically and mentally.

Ancient yogis practiced facing eastward as the sun rose, so the front side of the body (facing the sun) was considered the “east” side. This pose provides a deep stretch, which can seem intense. But remember, we do not get to the next place we are aspiring to go by pushing, we get there with ease and grace. Take it slowly and modify the pose as necessary. With time, you may find how you are taken to new heights simply by being patient, while staying open to the process.

Benefits

• Strengthens the arms, wrists and legs
• Stretches the shoulders, chest, and front ankles

– Benefits from yogajournal.com

Directions

  1. Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) with hands several inches behind you, fingertips facing forward.
  2. Exhale press palms and feet into the earth and start by lifting the hips.
  3. Then as you continue to lift the hips, extend up and out through your heart center.
  4. Option to slowly lower your head back or gaze up.
  5. Stay here for a few breaths and then gently release.

Modifications & Variations

Before lifting:

  • Bend your knees and lift into reverse Tabletop
  • Cross legs or come into full or half lotus and then lift hips and press knees and shins forward

Practice our pose of the month at one of our studios (links below) or at home. More details on our pose and theme of the month on our Spiraling to Wellness Member Portal!.

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