Purvottanasana

Sanskrit name:  purvottanasana
English name:  upward plank pose
Translation:  purva = East, uttana = intense stretch, asana = pose [the entire front of the body is intensely stretched in this posture]

Benefits

  • stretches entire front side of the body
  • improves shoulder joints and shoulder strength
  • increases lung capacity
  • strengthen inner thighs
  • strengthen wrists and ankles

Contraindications

  • shoulder, wrist injuries
  • neck issues (then don’t drop the head back)

Stretching Muscles

  • pecs (major and minor)
  • anterior deltoids (front part of shoulders)
  • biceps
  • front of ankles
  • front of throat (if head dropped back)

Strengthening Muscles

  • triceps
  • glutes (buttocks)
  • quads
  • back

This posture is excellent  for those of us who sit in front of the computer all day or does repetitive hunched forward motion because it stretches the entire front side of the body.  It also stretches the shoulders, which not a lot of yoga poses can offer.

Tip:  start with reverse table top with the knees bent because it still offers most of the same benefits for the upper body.  Once comfortable, then you can transition to straighten the legs.