Purvottanasana or upward/reverse plank is a great asana for building strength in the arms and wrists. This pose also requires us to engage the abdomen, therefore it is good to tone this part. On a mental level, this asana provides an energising yet relaxing feel to the mind. On an energetic level, purvottanasana helps cleanse, balance and activate anahata, the heart chakra by opening the chest.
Start in staff pose, sitting on your buttocks, with your legs extended forward and parallel to one another. Keep your back straight and place your hands behind your back, on either side of your body, fingers facing towards your body.
1. Inhale and open your chest, bringing your sternum forward and shoulder blades together
2. Exhale and lift your hips up, coming into table top pose. If this is enough for your body, you can stay in table top. Otherwise, to do the full upward plank asana, continue with the steps below.
3. Inhale and extend one leg forward and then the other.
4. Exhale and lift your pelvic area higher, engaging the core.
5. Inhale and bring your tip toes toward the floor
6. Exhale and lift your hips and pelvic area higher, letting your head gently drop back or keep facing forward looking at your belly button.
7. Hold for a few breaths; To come out of this pose, gently bring your weight onto your hands and bring your legs and buttocks to the mat.
Strengthens the arms
Tones the abdomen
Stretches and strengthens the legs
Tones the buttocks
Relaxes the mind
Brings balance in the body and mind
Relieves feelings of stress, anxiety and negative emotions
Activates and helps balance anahata
Contraindications: (consult this pose with your general medical practitioner if you have the following)
Lower back injury
Injury to the shoulders
Low and high blood pressure