How To Do The Purvottanasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Purva – East, Uttana – Intense Stretch, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – PUR-voh-tun-AHS-anna

The Purvottanasana literally stands for an intense eastward facing stretch. East also means the front of the body, and it is usually the direction of budding potential and new beginnings. In English, this asana has many names – Upward Plank Pose, Inclined Plank Pose, Reverse Plank Pose, Inclined Plane Pose, Upward Plane Pose, or Back Bend Pose.

Everything You Need To Know About The Purvottanasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Purvottanasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tip
  5. Advanced Pose Variation
  6. The Benefits Of The Upward Plank
  7. The Science Behind The Purvottanasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested, and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Basic
Style: Vinyasa Flow
Duration: 30 to 60 seconds
Repetition: None
Stretches: Arms, Legs, Wrists
Strengthens: Shoulders, Thorax, Front ankles

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How To Do The Purvottanasana (Upward Plank)

  1. To begin, you must assume the Staff Pose or the Dandasana. Place your hands behind your hips, such that your fingertips are pointing towards your feet. Bend your knees, placing your feet on the floor. Your feet must be hip-width apart.
  1. Exhale. Press your hands and feet firmly on the floor to lift your hips such that they are in the same line as your shoulders. Your arms must be straightened out.
  1. Involve your spinal muscles as you straighten out your legs and point your toes outwards. Lift your hips as high as you can, and keep your glutes firm and legs strong.
  1. Lift your chest up and allow your shoulders to roll onto your back. Let your head hang behind you, but be cautious of your neck.
  1. Hold the asana for as long as you are comfortable, and then, release the pose.

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Precautions And Contraindications

These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

  1. Avoid this asana at all costs if you have a wrist injury.
  1. If you have a neck injury, use a wall or a chair as support for your head.

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Beginner’s Tip

If you find it hard to do this asana as a beginner, use a chair for support until you get comfortable. Sit at the edge of a chair and wrap the hands around the back. Inhale and lift your pelvis, followed by each leg. Hold the asana for a few seconds and release.

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Advanced Pose Alteration

There are no advanced poses for this asana. However, you could do the side plank if you wish to intensify your workout.

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The Benefits Of The Upward Plank

These are some benefits of Purvottanasana.

  1. It makes your back, legs, triceps, and wrists strong.
  1. It gives the front of the ankles, the chest, and the shoulders a good stretch.
  1. It relaxes your mind.

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The Science Behind The Purvottanasana

This asana is said to open up the path to the inner light on a spiritual level. The heart is considered fragile, but this asana counterposes that notion. It allows the heart to rise high, and allows the inner light to rise. Almost always, we set our limitations and mark our boundaries. This asana opens up the locks and helps us look beyond these fears and apprehensions. The immense strength formed in the arms, shoulders, and spine gives us the courage to break away from the darkness and shine.

The legs, core, and shoulders that are placed beneath the heart give us that immense strength to stay in this pose.

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Preparatory Poses

Supta Virasana
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Adho Mukha Svanasana

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Now that you know how to do Purvottanasana, what are you waiting for? This Plank Pose is a great combination of strength and spirituality. It might be a good idea to let go and open up your heart to great opportunities.

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer

Shirin is a health and wellness writer with three years of experience and specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Prior to joining Stylecraze, she interned with an advertising firm as a copywriter and as an editorial intern for a luxury fashion magazine. Always muddled up between traditions and modernism, full bio

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